documenta fifteen will take place from June 18 until September 25, 2022 in Kassel.

News
 

28 August 2020

KW 36 – Kasseler Woche der Museen

To mark KW36 – Kasseler Woche der Museen ruangrupa and the documenta fifteen team will invite visitors into the ruruHaus (Obere Königsstraße 43, entrance Treppenstraße) from September 4 to 6, 2020 (Friday and Saturday on both days 3 pm–7 pm, Sunday 11am–3 pm) to explore, with local and regional initiatives and organizations as well as the local Kassel population, the practice of the nongkrong. The word nongkrong comes from Indonesian and roughly translated means “chatting in a relaxed setting”.More

To mark KW36 – Kasseler Woche der Museen ruangrupa and the documenta fifteen team will invite visitors into the ruruHaus (Obere Königsstraße 43, entrance Treppenstraße) from September 4 to 6, 2020 (Friday and Saturday on both days 3 pm–7 pm, Sunday 11am–3 pm) to explore, with local and regional initiatives and organizations as well as the local Kassel population, the practice of the nongkrong. The word nongkrong comes from Indonesian and roughly translated means “chatting in a relaxed setting”.


September 1–6, 2020 will see the holding of Kassel’s Museum Week KW36 – Kasseler Woche der Museen. 45 cultural institutions will take part in this new twist on the traditional night of the museums format making it possible to experience the diversity of the Kassel art and cultural scene even in the age of the corona pandemic. You can find further details on the program and organization on the KW36 website.

18 June 2020

documenta fifteen and lumbung practice. Announcement of the first lumbung-members

ruangrupa: lumbung drawing, image: Iswanto Hartono, 2020

lumbung is the Indonesian word for a collectively governed rice-barn, where the gathered harvest is stored for the common good of the community. ruangrupa has built the foundation of documenta fifteen on its core values and ideas. lumbung, as a concept, is the starting point for documenta fifteen. Over the coming years, lumbung will be operational in the lead up to documenta fifteen in 2022, and beyond. More

lumbung is the Indonesian word for a collectively governed rice-barn, where the gathered harvest is stored for the common good of the community. ruangrupa has built the foundation of documenta fifteen on its core values and ideas. lumbung, as a concept, is the starting point for documenta fifteen. Over the coming years, lumbung will be operational in the lead up to documenta fifteen in 2022, and beyond.


At this stage, ruangrupa gives an insight into how they understand and implement lumbung in their curatorial practice. In the spirit of lumbung, ruangrupa has invited the first lumbung-members and the Artistic Team to individually introduce themselves by sharing stories of their respective practices and how they connect to the wider project.

18 June 2020

ruangrupa on their lumbung concept for documenta fifteen

ruangrupa: lumbung booklet, photo Keke Tumbuan, 2020

The concept
lumbung as a collectively-governed architecture for the storage of food serves a community’s long-term well-being through communal resources and mutual care, and it is organized around a set of shared values, collective rituals, and organizational principles. ruangrupa translates and continues this tradition of sharing within our own practice.
More

The concept
lumbung as a collectively-governed architecture for the storage of food serves a community’s long-term well-being through communal resources and mutual care, and it is organized around a set of shared values, collective rituals, and organizational principles. ruangrupa translates and continues this tradition of sharing within our own practice.

We do not consider lumbung merely as a chosen “theme” for documenta fifteen. Instead, it is deeply imbued in ruangrupa’s everyday practice and is a summary of our methods and values thus far. As a collective, we share resources, time, energy, funds, ideas, and knowledge among ourselves and others. We first developed the concept of lumbung five years ago, when we formed a collective of collectives with Serrum and Grafis Huru Hara, an initiative that through ongoing trial and error finds its latest iteration in Gudskul, our collective-run space and school in South Jakarta.


Values
lumbung as an artistic and economic model will be practiced alongside its values of collectivity, generosity, humor, trust, independence, curiosity, endurance, regeneration, transparency, sufficiency, and connectivity between a multiplicity of locales, rendering them planetary as a result.
Through the framework of documenta fifteen, the Artistic Team approaches collectives, organizations, and institutions from around the world to gather and develop lumbung together. Each of the lumbung-members will contribute to and receive diverse resources, such as time, space, money, knowledge, care, and art. We are extremely eager to work with and learn from other concepts and models of regeneration, education, and economy—other lumbungs practiced in different parts of the world.

lumbung with regard to the current situation
Due to the critical situation that has unfolded over the last few months, we shifted the use of our collective space Gudskul into a mini factory manufacturing much-needed face masks and hazmat suits to be distributed directly to medical workers in hospitals and clinics on different islands in Indonesia. We partnered up with various local initiatives and sourced donations in the process.
Through our collective experience under COVID-19, we reflected again on the value of solidarity. We need to go even further in fostering new networking models and questioning how to make small to medium art’s initiatives models sustainable. Consequently, we need to rethink further what artistic practice and event making is, what they could and should be.
If operating on a large scale means losing relevance in respect to our own practices, should we degrow? What does it mean to be locally and globally rooted today, and what potential does locality currently hold? What does materiality mean in contemporary art today for art and artists? How should we use space to redefine our relationship with the public? In considering regenerative economies, we should examine and develop new strategies, parallel to well-tested practices.
When ruangrupa initially proposed the idea of lumbung as a collectively governed pot of surplus resources, it was speculating artistically on how to build such a common structure over time. Under the current conditions, the concept of lumbung, and its values of solidarity and collectivity, has never been more vital and relevant. In moments when so many are experiencing the inequality and injustice of the current systems, lumbung can act as an effort (alongside so many others) to show that things can be done differently. We are therefore not suspending lumbung, but accelerating it.

18 June 2020

Introducing the first lumbung-members

ruangrupa: lumbung-members handlettering, image: Indra Ameng, 2020

Against the background of today’s challenging times, in which numerous initiatives and groups of people in many places are struggling, the starting point of this lumbung has been built by Fondation Festival Sur Le Niger (Ségou, Mali), Gudskul (Jakarta, Indonesia), INLAND (various locations, Spain), Jatiwangi art Factory (Jatiwangi, Indonesia), Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center (Ramallah, Palestine), Más Arte Más Acción (MAMA) (Nuqui, Choco, Columbia), OFF-Biennale (Budapest, Hungary), Trampoline House (Copenhagen, Denmark), and ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (Berlin, Germany).
More

Against the background of today’s challenging times, in which numerous initiatives and groups of people in many places are struggling, the starting point of this lumbung has been built by Fondation Festival Sur Le Niger (Ségou, Mali), Gudskul (Jakarta, Indonesia), INLAND (various locations, Spain), Jatiwangi art Factory (Jatiwangi, Indonesia), Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center (Ramallah, Palestine), Más Arte Más Acción (MAMA) (Nuqui, Choco, Columbia), OFF-Biennale (Budapest, Hungary), Trampoline House (Copenhagen, Denmark), and ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (Berlin, Germany).


ruangrupa chose to work with these initiatives based on their inspirational models, their deep artistic practices rooted in local social structures, and their organizational and economic experimentations that go hand-in-hand with lumbung values.


Together, these lumbung-members will develop long-term conversations in which the sharing of knowledge, solidarity, and resources will increase the wellbeing of each of their local practices and ecosystems. Over the next two years, these initial lumbung-members will invite new members to join and share their tried-and-tested practices with each other, making the initiatives visible in various forms and modes of expression within the framework of documenta fifteen in Kassel and its relations to other locales.

18 June 2020

Fondation Festival sur le Niger (Ségou, Mali)

Fondation Festival sur le Niger: Performance of the famous Malian musicians Oumou Sangaré and Cheick Tidiane Seck, during the Festival sur le Niger, 2011, photo: Harandane DICKO

The Centre Culturel Kôrè, established by the Fondation Festival sur le Niger in 2011, gets its name from Kôrè, the supreme level of knowledge in Bamanan culture. More

The Centre Culturel Kôrè, established by the Fondation Festival sur le Niger in 2011, gets its name from Kôrè, the supreme level of knowledge in Bamanan culture.


The Kôrèdugaw is a rite combining humor, wit, and wisdom. Children are prepared to cope with life and society through the values expressed by the Kôrèdugaw, such as respect for others, mutual help, knowing oneself in both happy and difficult times, and the absolute rejection of violence.

Fondation Festival sur le Niger: Procession of the Kôrèdugaw at the Centre Culturel Kôrè, Ségou, during the Festival sur le Niger celebration, 2009, photo: Harandane DICKO


“These values are also the base of all artistic, educational, and economic activities we organize at the Centre Culturel Kôrè and IKAM, the education center. By training young artists and cultural entrepreneurs from throughout Africa, providing deep mentoring and support, producing artistic work, and developing distribution circuits, we strengthen the whole spectrum of culture and arts in Mali, and Africa at large. It is most important to us that this happens through a collaborative ethos. Our way of working, Maaya entrepreneurship, is rooted in our traditional humanist Maaya philosophy and brings this philosophy to contemporary society and culture. It has helped us build many artistic and solidarity networks in Mali and beyond, find answers to the crises hitting our country since 2012, and overcome the competitive culture created by the problems of our times.”


www.festivalsegou.org/

18 June 2020

Gudskul (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Gudskul: A diagram of Gudskul’s lumbung practice with three vital resource components, 2020

Gudskul is an educational knowledge-sharing platform formed in 2018 by three Jakarta-based collectives: ruangrupa, Serrum, and Grafis Huru Hara.More

Gudskul is an educational knowledge-sharing platform formed in 2018 by three Jakarta-based collectives: ruangrupa, Serrum, and Grafis Huru Hara.


Gudskul sincerely believes in sharing and working together as two vital elements in developing Indonesian contemporary art and culture. Their intent is to disseminate initiative spirit through artistic and cultural endeavors in a society committed to collectivism, and to promote initiators who make local needs their highest priority, while at the same time contributing to and holding crucial roles internationally. Gudskul is building an ecosystem in which many participants are co-operating, including artists, curators, art writers, managers, researchers, musicians, filmmakers, architects, cooks, designers, fashionistas, and street artists.


The Gudskul members focus on different (artistic) practices and media, such as installation, video, sound, performance, media art, citizen participation, graphic arts, design, and pedagogy, etc. This multiplicity contributes to diversifying the issues and actors involved in every collaborative project that happens within a social, political, cultural, economical, environmental, and pedagogical context. Gudskul is open to anyone who is interested in co-learning, developing collective-based artistic practices, and art-making with a focus on collaboration.


https://gudskul.art/

18 June 2020

INLAND (various locations, Spain)

INLAND: Organizational structure of the para-institution, 2020. This first diagram guides and explains the agro-cultural activities carried out both in diverse contexts and in the specific locations where Inland sustains communities-of-practice. It can be used as a chart, a lens, a mirror, and a mask

INLAND is a collaborative agency started in 2009 by Fernando Garcia Dory. The project is a platform for diverse actors engaged in agricultural, social, and cultural production.More

INLAND is a collaborative agency started in 2009 by Fernando Garcia Dory. The project is a platform for diverse actors engaged in agricultural, social, and cultural production.


During its first stage (2010–2013) and taking Spain as an initial case study, INLAND was engaged with artistic production in twenty-two villages across the country, nationwide exhibitions and presentations, and an international conference. This was followed by a period of reflection and evaluation, launching study groups on art and ecology, and a series of publications. Today INLAND functions as a collective focused on land-based collaborations and economies, and communities-of-practice as a substrate for post-contemporary art and cultural forms.
Inland has a radio station, an academy, produces shows, and makes cheese. It is also a consultant for the European Union Commission on the use of art for rural development policies, while promoting a European Shepherds’ Network, a social movement to question those same policies. The two-tiered strategy of this para-institution develops a locally embedded process at its venues, such as its Centre for the Approach of the Rural in the city and recovering an abandoned village.


INLAND is currently coordinating the Confederacy of Villages network and has exhibited and worked with institutions such as the Istanbul Biennial; the Casco Art Institute, Netherlands; the Maebashi Museum, Japan; the Serpentine Gallery, London; the Casa do Povo, São Paulo; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin.


https://inland.org/

18 June 2020

Jatiwangi art Factory (JaF) (Jatiwangi, Indonesia)

Jatiwangi art Factory (JaF): The Family of JaF at the opening of the Village Video Festival, 2017, photo: Pandu Rahadian

Established in 2005, Jatiwangi art Factory (JaF) is a community that embraces contemporary arts and cultural practices as parts of the local life discourse in a rural area. More

Established in 2005, Jatiwangi art Factory (JaF) is a community that embraces contemporary arts and cultural practices as parts of the local life discourse in a rural area.


A century ago, Jatiwangi began its clay industry, becoming the biggest roof-tile producing region in Southeast Asia. A hundred years later, in 2005, using the same clay, JaF encouraged the people of Jatiwangi to create a collective awareness and identity for their region through arts and cultural activity. JaF tries to cultivate clay with more dignity, to raise collective happiness through many programs involving the participation of the community.


Kota Terakota is the name given to the idea of developing Jatiwangi from its traditional background of roof-tile industry towards a new cultural identity for the future. Kota Terakota is point zero for Jatiwangi as the beginning of a new clay culture, a city based on the people’s desire and their collective agreement. Jatiwangi has the opportunity to transform its region through multiple perspectives, which is why Kota Terakota speaks not only about “terra” as a material, but also as land, territory, or idea.


https://jatiwangiartfactory.tumblr.com/

18 June 2020

Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center (Ramallah, Palestine)

Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center and Grassroots Jerusalem: The Question of Funding, 2020

“This is a mind map. We have been trying to figure out how collectives that are formed organically can extend their collectivity to the community, how to scale up horizontally while keeping a skeletal body that takes the task of accumulating knowledge produced and shared through the collectives. More

“This is a mind map. We have been trying to figure out how collectives that are formed organically can extend their collectivity to the community, how to scale up horizontally while keeping a skeletal body that takes the task of accumulating knowledge produced and shared through the collectives.


Ideology is in the structures that ideas and bodies work and move through, and we see our structure in the landscape we live in, which is not flat like a coastal landscape, nor steep like a mountain, but with many hills and valleys, tops and bases, which one can move between while simultaneously being on the top of a hill and in the bottom of a valley. In this collective, we begin from the question of funding as a way to engage culturally with politics and economy, rethinking funding and re-proposing it as a value that grows through community engagement and collective movement.”


— Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center on their mind map “The Question of Funding”


http://www.sakakini.org/en/

18 June 2020

Más Arte Más Acción (MAMA) (Nuqui, Choco, Colombia)

MAMA, Fernando Arias: Fly, 2011

Más Arte Más Acción has been a platform for interdisciplinary projects since 2008. It evolved following years of community engagement, mainly on Colombia’s Pacific Coast, that led to the construction of the Chocó Base. More

Más Arte Más Acción has been a platform for interdisciplinary projects since 2008. It evolved following years of community engagement, mainly on Colombia’s Pacific Coast, that led to the construction of the Chocó Base.


Since 2011 this “space to reflect” has enabled artists, scientists, activists, and writers to consider the construction of other possible worlds. MAMA builds networks with funders, universities, festivals, art institutions, and local communities to sustain the ideas and processes of critical thinking in the framework of territorial struggles.


MAMA on its present situation: “MAMA is currently on a journey to evaluate its processes, narratives, and ways of organizing in the coming years. The journey is uncertain, and this uncertainty encourages us to resist results-oriented productivity. As we look around, we see shared interests, we engage, we relate, we find empathy, we embrace differences, we act through more art, we gather others to join our fight to activate artistic processes and connect. We imagine art through action and action through art. What do we do with uncertainty? How do we confront new realities that demand new positions and other possibilities? There are storm clouds that break. And there is light.”


https://www.masartemasaccion.org/

18 June 2020

OFF-Biennale (Budapest, Hungary)

OFF-Biennale Budapest Archive: Gladness Demo, a restaging of Endre Tót’s Gladness demonstrations of the 70s by Kristóf Kovács at Telep Gallery, Budapest, October 8, 2017, as part of GAUDIOPOLIS 2017/OFF-Biennale Budapest, 2017, photo: Zsolt Balázs

The OFF-Biennale started in 2015 as a grassroots statement project that was to testify to the independence, resilience, and capability of the local art scene. Started and sustained by a handful of art professionals, the one-time event has since turned into an independent platform where art engages with pressing issues, and the underlying dialogues and collaborations of artists, curators, researchers, students, and various civil groups and organizations can be nurtured and promoted on a local as well as international level. More

The OFF-Biennale started in 2015 as a grassroots statement project that was to testify to the independence, resilience, and capability of the local art scene. Started and sustained by a handful of art professionals, the one-time event has since turned into an independent platform where art engages with pressing issues, and the underlying dialogues and collaborations of artists, curators, researchers, students, and various civil groups and organizations can be nurtured and promoted on a local as well as international level.


OFF has never applied for Hungarian public funding and steered clear of state-run art institutions—a policy that, while it counters the project’s principles of cooperation, sharing, and serving the common good, is still deemed necessary in order to preserve freedom of expression and professional integrity. The third OFF-Biennale will take place in May 2021.


https://offbiennale.hu/en

18 June 2020

Trampoline House (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Trampoline House: Fashion show in Trampoline House during its ninth birthday in 2019, photo: Lars Vibild, Copenhagen

On June 8, 2019, the Copenhagen refugee community center, Trampoline House, celebrated its ninth birthday with a gala for all its members and supporters. Long-time member Eden Girma suggested putting on a fashion show where all the House members would walk down a catwalk wearing their favorite outfit. Some people dressed in traditional garments from the country they had fled, like Eden in the photo. Others created new outfits or borrowed folk costumes from friends in the House. More than 300 adults and children from all over the world took part in the festivities. More

On June 8, 2019, the Copenhagen refugee community center, Trampoline House, celebrated its ninth birthday with a gala for all its members and supporters. Long-time member Eden Girma suggested putting on a fashion show where all the House members would walk down a catwalk wearing their favorite outfit. Some people dressed in traditional garments from the country they had fled, like Eden in the photo. Others created new outfits or borrowed folk costumes from friends in the House. More than 300 adults and children from all over the world took part in the festivities.


There was a lot to celebrate. For nearly ten years, Trampoline House has been a space where people who have escaped war, poverty, or human rights abuse can find ways to participate in their host country and feel a sense of belonging again. Every week, hundreds of refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers, as well as Danish citizens and residents of Denmark visit the House to become part of its unique community, participate in its activities, contribute to its running, and campaign for refugee rights. The House offers legal counseling, language classes, cooking and cleaning internships, job counseling, programs for women and children, workshops, debate events, art exhibitions, and weekly House meetings, where members and staff share news and discuss urgent issues related to the House and refugee conditions. Trampoline House was formed in 2010 by a group of artists, refugee rights advocates, and asylum seekers as an antidote to Denmark’s asylum and immigration policies.


https://www.trampolinehouse.dk/

18 June 2020

ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (Berlin, Germany)

ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik, ©KUNSTrePUBLIK

The artist collective KUNSTrePUBLIK has been working in the public sphere for more than fifteen years. Through tangible projects they have been exploring the potentials and limitations of art for citizens to freely express or to be represented by the action and physical outcome of KUNSTrePUBLIK’s work. KUNSTrePUBLIK’s approach is driven by the site and crosses architectural, artistic, and political means of creating projects. KUNSTrePUBLIK is the organization behind ZK/U – Center for Arts and Urbanistics. More

The artist collective KUNSTrePUBLIK has been working in the public sphere for more than fifteen years. Through tangible projects they have been exploring the potentials and limitations of art for citizens to freely express or to be represented by the action and physical outcome of KUNSTrePUBLIK’s work. KUNSTrePUBLIK’s approach is driven by the site and crosses architectural, artistic, and political means of creating projects. KUNSTrePUBLIK is the organization behind ZK/U – Center for Arts and Urbanistics.


ZK/U is located in a neighborhood in Berlin with various conflicts between established “middle-class” citizens, precarious first and second generation migrants, and newly arriving groups. Therefore ZK/U aims at (re) activating the social and spatial relationship between individuals and groups that are divided by differences of education, income, gender, and cultural background.
ZK/U is an artist and research residency, that has hosted more than 500 artists since its opening in 2012. It is interested in bringing together global discourses and local practices. More specifically, it looks at how art can be a catalyst for transformation in the urban sphere. In this context ZK/U faces various challenges: How can we facilitate collaborations between cultural, public, and private sectors to achieve sustainable, inclusive urban development that allows local culture and voices to participate in the decision-making processes? How can knowledge be transferred between stakeholders with different educational backgrounds, and skills and (professional) languages be best employed, ideally resulting in tangible projects, which can be grasped by practical experience? Through its work, ZK/U tries to demonstrate the feasibility of these participatory, urban, artistic practices.


https://www.zku-berlin.org/

18 June 2020

Introducing the Artistic Team

ruangrupa: Artistic Team Assembly in Tanakita, 2019, Foto: Jin Panji

It was our intention to begin by sharing roles, authorship, work, and ideas. We deem this diversity as abundance, a surplus we can start with. With this in mind, we dived deep into our past processes and reflected on our experience over the last twenty years. More

It was our intention to begin by sharing roles, authorship, work, and ideas. We deem this diversity as abundance, a surplus we can start with. With this in mind, we dived deep into our past processes and reflected on our experience over the last twenty years.


In line with our paramount belief in friendship, we extended early invitations to our close allies. In time, they formed the Artistic Team of documenta fifteen. Some of them, like Gertrude Flentge, we have known as long as we have existed (even before ruangrupa was called ruangrupa) through school, residencies, network building, and artistic and curatorial projects. Through her vision, values, and compassion, Gertrude has played a vital role in the formation and relations between various initiatives in areas formerly known as the Global South. ruangrupa has worked previously with Gertrude on the programs RAIN and ArtsCollaboratory, and thus our collaboration with her for documenta fifteen came naturally.

ruangrupa: Artistic Team assembly in Kassel, 2019, photo: Nicolas Wefers


Others, like Frederikke Hansen and Lara Khaldi, we have collaborated with on various occasions in different contexts. We have known Fred, one-half of the curatorial collective Kuratorisk Aktion, since the early 2000s through various exchanges between South and North, an uncommon connection in the contemporary visual art world that we successfully sustained throughout the years. On the other hand, Lara is a more recent collaborator, who came through our door in 2015 when she was visiting Jakarta with other young curators from the De Appel Curatorial Programme. Because Lara is based in Jerusalem, collaboration up until now was largely impossible, however while her previous works were far away geographically, they were close to ruangrupa in sensibility.


One of our ways of working is to spend time together with people and engage in continuous conversations, listening to and developing an intimacy with people and their particular context. The fact that only one member of ruangrupa had experienced a previous documenta exhibition and Kassel as a city, rendered us in need of connection points. It was crucial for us to learn from past experiences by collaborating with our newfound Kassel-based friends. Ayşe Güleç, through her involvement in previous editions of documenta, and her long commitment to activism work in Kassel communities, is a perfect fit. We saw Andrea Linnenkohl, with her long experience working with several documenta related institutions as well as past documenta exhibitions, as a necessary bridge between us and institutions within the city of Kassel and beyond. The involvement of these people as our Artistic Team makes it possible for us to engage, imagine, work hard, hang-out, and enjoy the journey of documenta fifteen.

18 June 2020

Andrea’s story

Drawing of Andrea Linnenkohl, Daniella Fitria Praptono, 2020

On February 22, 2019, I attended the announcement of the Artistic Direction for the upcoming documenta in Kassel with quite some excitement. More

On February 22, 2019, I attended the announcement of the Artistic Direction for the upcoming documenta in Kassel with quite some excitement.


There had already been rumors circulating, and I wondered whether the selection committee would have a creative response to the exhibition’s long history of leading positions being awarded to individuals. The answer took some time, and the tension was quite palpable. And then the announcement: ruangrupa, an artist collective of nine people or more (nobody was certain about the exact number) from Jakarta, Indonesia.
“Bravo! Well done…”, I thought. I was aware of ruangrupa, and I knew they had curated Sonsbeek in 2016, which I had unfortunately been unable to visit. I also knew, of course, that ruruRadio was part of documenta 14’s radio program Every Time A Ear di Soun, but I hadn’t yet met ruangrupa personally. I am glad that this soon changed. In August 2019, sometime around noon, while searching for something to eat for lunch, I received a WhatsApp message from Ajeng asking if I would like to come to Indonesia to participate in the first assembly of documenta fifteen—taking place in two weeks.


“Wow! Yes, of course. I’m packing now,” was not exactly my response, but that’s how it felt. Shortly after, I was on my way to Jakarta to visit ruangrupa and to meet with the other team members from around the globe. This first gathering was smartly planned and, as I quickly learned, carried out in the spirit of ruangrupa’s way of working: We stayed at Tanakita camping ground, in the impressive rainforest close to Sukabumi. We sat together each day, from morning till night, where we discussed, we brainstormed, we learned from each other, and we ate together. The carefully selected setting helped us put our egos aside and work and focus as a team. In this way we carefully sounded out what documenta fifteen could become. It was an amazing start. The Enterprise had taken off.

18 June 2020

Ayşe’s story

Drawing of Ayşe Güleç, Daniella Fitria Praptono, 2020

Due to a family matter, I spent some time in Istanbul at the end of September 2005. More

Due to a family matter, I spent some time in Istanbul at the end of September 2005.


At that time the 9th Istanbul Biennial, curated by Charles Esche and Vasif Kortun, was taking place. Escaping family commitments, I got on the ferry to visit the exhibition. Later that day I came across the theme of kaos in the ruangrupa space. “Kaos” means T-shirt in Indonesian and “chaos” in Turkish. I can still clearly remember the various posters and T-shirts of local heros turned into international icons. I was thrilled because the popular Turkish character actor Kemal Sunal was included, who I found fascinating.


I did not meet ruangrupa at that time, but only many years later in Kassel when the Artistic Direction for documenta fifteen was announced. I was very happy that for the first time in documenta’s history a collective had been selected and appointed.

In June 2019, I received a message from ruangrupa asking if I would like to meet. I spent two days with different members—Ade, Ameng, Reza, Ajeng, Daniela, Sari, farid, Iswanto, and Andan— discussing Kassel’s history and its current socio-political situation, about how the various districts are constituted, who lives there, and what each part of the city says. We ate together, visited specific places, and met with local groups and initiatives. I was impressed by the attention, accuracy, and also humor with which ruangrupa approached topics and contexts.
After this meeting, ruangrupa asked if I was interested in joining the Artistic Team. One week later I said yes and took part in the first meeting of the extended Artistic Team in the hilly rainforests near Sukabumi. Here a collective thinking began as a working practice to explore what documenta fifteen can and should be, not only in 2022, but before as well as after.

18 June 2020

Fred’s story

Drawing of Frederikke Hansen, Daniella Fitria Praptono, 2020

Indra was sitting with Ade and Reza outside a bar in Istanbul relieving the pain with a drink. He had just had the back of his hand tattooed with a gigantic Taurus zodiac sign. More

Indra was sitting with Ade and Reza outside a bar in Istanbul relieving the pain with a drink. He had just had the back of his hand tattooed with a gigantic Taurus zodiac sign.


It was 2005, and I was in town with Tone, my partner in crime in our newly founded curatorial collective, Kuratorisk Aktion. We were researching decolonial artists, and while Tone had been to Indonesia and made friends with ruangrupa, hanging out at the bar and helping them kill the pain would be my first encounter. Soon after, we met again, this time in Tórshavn in the North Atlantic. Kuratorisk Aktion had invited ruangrupa to the third act of Rethinking Nordic Colonialism: A Postcolonial Exhibition Project in Five Acts (2006), which had started in Iceland and moved on to Greenland before arriving in the Faroe Islands (and eventually going to Sápmi and its final destination: rethinking-nordic-colonialism.org).


Proclaiming themselves as a minority in the Faroes, our Indonesian friends turned the tables on the only-seemingly homogenous micronation of 48,000 souls with their project You’re Welcome, hacking Kuratorisk Aktion’s role as hosts for our esteemed artists, performers, and activists from all over the globe. By the time we left Tórshavn, all of us were regulars at their Chinese restaurant and fans of their local football team. Everybody “jumped around” to House of Pain’s hit song. Act 3 was forever redubbed “The Asian Act of Taurus.”

18 June 2020

Gertrude's story

Drawing of Gertrude Flentge, Daniella Fitria Praptono, 2020

Rijksakademie goodbye party, 1999. Ade and I are having a beer, fantasizing about the years to come. More

Rijksakademie goodbye party, 1999. Ade and I are having a beer, fantasizing about the years to come.


I had just started work for the RAIN network, building collaborations between artists’ initiatives from Africa, Asia, and Latin-America and artists from the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Ade is moving back to Jakarta to build an artists’ initiative with friends from art school. It should question the public and urban development of Jakarta in post-Suharto Indonesia. “We will move really slow and stay small,” Ade concludes our talk.


Make friends not art—a chapter of the “cultural management” guide ruangrupa published about ten years later became one of the most important things I learned in our first years of collaborating. Apparently simple, yet, for many it is difficult to understand that artistic collaboration is first of all humane.
Dare to lose something—another chapter—took me longer to grasp. I was now working for DOEN Foundation and had co-initiated the ArtsCollaboratory ecosystem to which ruangrupa belongs. How to let go of control and decision-making in an institution that is naturally inclined towards it? After years of struggling together, DOEN, ruangrupa, and many others, have shown it can be done if both sides dare to look at, and give up, their own privileges and prejudices. Growing up with ruangrupa, these three phrases have become foundational to me and the networks we have built together. ruangrupa never stayed small or slow. Each time I visit it has a different size and shape. A place to hang out, a network of students, a festival, a shop, an exhibition space, a radio, a school. Six members, then ten, thirty-five, fifty, and back to ten.


When farid told me in 2015 that, fed up with funding and movinge to a big warehouse, they had finally embraced capitalism, I felt panic. Would this be the end of hanging out and make friends not art? Turns out I got it wrong, although maybe the desire for “big” was real for a while. It was just a step to becoming small again. To become Gudskul ekosistem: Instead of becoming big, become many.

18 June 2020

Lara’s story

Drawing of Lara Khaldi, Daniella Fitria Praptono, 2020

I met ruangrupa in 2013 on a research trip with colleagues from the De Appel Curatorial Programme. More

I met ruangrupa in 2013 on a research trip with colleagues from the De Appel Curatorial Programme.


The trip uncomfortably framed us almost as ethnographers: fancy curators coming from the “center” (Europe, curating, etc.) to the “margins.” The funny thing was that most of us were not from this so-called center, but from former and current colonies, so this framing was more a source of embarrassment than any indication of privilege. Our schedule was set in advance and supplemented with addresses. It usually worked efficiently everywhere we went, fitting for the globe-trotting curators we wanted to become.


We landed in Jakarta, and chaos ensued. We were stuck in traffic for hours, got lost, were late for most meetings and missed many others. Delay and absence in Jakarta are a collective responsibility, not individual. Everyone is late together; everyone is on time together… At least one hour late, we arrived at ruangrupa’s space-cum-apartment. We were warmly welcomed, and our delay was dismissed with laughter. Ade pointed to a sitting area… We hesitated, looking at the couch and back at Ade. Someone was asleep on it. Ade laughed and told us not to mind Andan, who was a deep sleeper, and to sit down around him. We were chatting and eating when Ade asked where I was from. I said Palestine, and right then Andan shouted from his deep sleep, “AHLAN WA SAHLAN.” He sat up and spoke in perfect Fus-ha Arabic. Everyone was listening intently, although they did not speak the language. Once Andan finished speaking, he waved his arm and said, “let’s have coffee and wake up.”


I now noticed how people took naps everywhere, in public spaces, under stairs, in the shade of a tree… Sleep was not private, not individualized. I guess it is trust in the collective which makes your vulnerability, your delay, your failure, your success shared, and not only your own.

18 June 2020

ruruHaus: the living room for Kassel (and beyond)

documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH: ruruHaus, photo: Nicolas Wefers

“We could even sleep in the living room, and the kitchen will stand without recipes in our hands… ” —ruangrupa, 2020More

“We could even sleep in the living room, and the kitchen will stand without recipes in our hands… ” —ruangrupa, 2020


ruruHaus as in “ruru” for ruangrupa and “Haus” as in the German word for “house,” is our long-term practice of working and building together. Building while respecting and understanding local cultural ecosystems of people, materials, and other living organisms.
ruruHaus is part of ruangrupa’s own history with nongkrong (Indonesian for gathering/hanging out), when private living rooms were converted into public spaces due to the political and social situations surrounding our early days. As a curatorial practice, ruruHaus stands for opening up spaces for gathering and sharing resources. It is a space for many things to cook, a way of gaining an understanding of the larger ecosystem of Kassel that can serve as an example for the wider platform documenta fifteen represents. ruruHaus will start small and grow slowly with time. A diversity of knowledge, skills, experiences, necessities, and values will be brought in and find balance here. ruruHaus is, in short, a laboratory and a kitchen, with a radio station to resonate a multiplicity of stories.

ruangrupa: Space Drawing, Iswanto Hartono, 2020


The ruruHaus’ hardware is the former Sportarena department store on Treppenstraße, Friedrichsplatz. It is the first documenta fifteen venue and can be seen as an embryo. Assemblies or majelis (as it’s called in Gudskul) will be the decision-making mechanism for a larger body of programs and projects. The type of majelis practiced in the ruruHaus will be decided by the relationships catalyzed by its existence. In the ruruHaus, nongkrong, both physically and digitally, will be directly practiced and developed. The ruruHaus will absorb activities by and for lumbung-partners. Instead of conceptual explanations, connections to Kassel’s initiatives are currently being conducted in order to practice nongkrong, both physically and online. Within its capacity as an ecosystem for collective works, ruruHaus will invite communities/artists/collectives/students, etc., to participate in, activate, and capture the space together. reinaart vanhoe will be the first active member at the ruruHaus. reinaart has worked with ruangrupa for more than twenty years on different projects. Ruruhuis, Sonsbeek 2016, Arnhem, is one such project worth mentioning. He has also published several texts on our practice and on collectives in Indonesia.
COVID-19 rapidly changed ruruHaus’ initial plans. To kick-off, the store windows of the ruruHaus will be activated by a responsive public-space project, followed by an upcoming program.

18 June 2020

reinaart’s story

February 23, 2019, posts on social media, email notifications, sms and WhatsApp messages kept popping up: “Congratulations on ruangrupa curating d15.” People congratulated each other like they were wishing a family member happy birthday. Many feel part of this family. Some met a ruangrupa member while smoking a kretek cigarette, some feel an affiliation because they represent another world.More

February 23, 2019, posts on social media, email notifications, sms and WhatsApp messages kept popping up: “Congratulations on ruangrupa curating d15.” People congratulated each other like they were wishing a family member happy birthday. Many feel part of this family. Some met a ruangrupa member while smoking a kretek cigarette, some feel an affiliation because they represent another world.


Among the Indonesians I know, a shared strength is to “welcome” unconditionally. Sometimes you’ll feel like a notable guest, happening to be in the right place at the right time, and sometimes you’ll feel neglected. I remember my last night after staying with ruangrupa for two and a half months in 2004: no party, no dinner, nothing at all. Was there friendship? There was, but it was just not the time to celebrate it—other moments were more appropriate. To give and to expect nothing in return has always been the base of our relationship. Mattie van der Worm understood this perfectly when he printed the sentence “If I take care of you, someone else will take care of me” (Joseph Beuys) on the windows of the ruruHaus during Sonsbeek ’16.


Nongkrong (hangout) can sound like wasting time together, but it is also a productive method. I enjoyed gossiping with Kunil, learning more about the context of Jakarta by it. Through nongkrong the complexity of urgencies is often better understood. Being productive happens through a collective effort not an individual one. I hope that ruangrupa is able to advocate this process better and influence European institutions on how complexity and being in relation can be essential part of conceiving a program without conceptualizing it too much.
Yes, we criticize or make jokes. “But hey, here we are, always being available, no matter how busy we are,” Oom Leo (responsible for ruangrupa’s perpetually almost-ready website) once said. Years of hanging out might seem inefficient for some, but ruangrupa’s productivity has been impressive.

18 June 2020

The visual identity of documenta fifteen

ruangrupa started from a friendship and student network among students of art schools, in Jakarta and Yogyakarta, during the mid 1990s. It then became an organization in 2000, couple of years after the fall of the 32 years New Order regime, which restricted the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. More

ruangrupa started from a friendship and student network among students of art schools, in Jakarta and Yogyakarta, during the mid 1990s. It then became an organization in 2000, couple of years after the fall of the 32 years New Order regime, which restricted the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.


From its inception, ruangrupa has dedicated its own space and resources to enabling young people to meet, share, experiment, and collaborate as a means of developing fresh ideas for the creation of contemporary art in the context of urban life in Jakarta. This principle of regarding young people as bearers of new world perspectives and different contemporary sensibilities has accompanied ruangrupa in all its activities and led, among other things, to the founding of the initiative Jakarta 32℃ (2004–ongoing), which was established as a student’s forum and biannual art event.


Against this background, ruangrupa invited students from Kassel and Jakarta to collaborate and take part in developing documenta fifteen’s visual identity. From more than twenty submissions by individuals and groups, a jury composed of members of ruangrupa, documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH, and documenta’s Artistic Team selected two winning projects, one from Jakarta and one from Kassel. The teams submitted two very different concepts and each has been given the opportunity to pursue their own approach: The main visual identity of documenta fifteen will be developed by the Jakarta team, 4oo2, while the Kassel team, kmmn_practice, is given the opportunity to realize their concept of an open access platform for public participation in relation to certain aspects of the exhibition’s visual design.

18 June 2020

Studio 4oo2, Jakarta

Studio 4oo2: visual identity draft for documenta fifteen, 2020

Studio 4oo2 is a team of four students from the University Universitas Negeri Jakarta, majoring in visual art education, who came together to design a visual identity for documenta fifteen. More

Studio 4oo2 is a team of four students from the University Universitas Negeri Jakarta, majoring in visual art education, who came together to design a visual identity for documenta fifteen.


The name “4oo2” derives from the amount spent on parking tickets (4,000 rupiahs for two motorcycles) at the only available twenty-four-hours space, a fast-food restaurant the team used as their working space to develop the proposal. Studio 4oo2’s winning concept is based on the central image of hands. This core element of the visual identity for documenta fifteen expresses the attitude and gesture of lumbung, which can be summarized as a platform for sharing, solidarity, and friendship. The design’s color palette is inspired by natural fabric dyes from the eastern part of Indonesia.


4oo2 will develop and apply the main visual identity for documenta fifteen together with professional partners. The team consists of Angga Reksha Ramadhan, Larasati Fildzah Kinanti, Louisiana Wattimena, and Rosyid Mahfuzh.

18 June 2020

kmmn_practice, Kassel

kmmn_practice: Participatory platform, Stellwerk at the Kassel main railway station, photo: Can Wagener, 2020

KMMN was created as an open, temporary exhibition and event format that took place in the summer of 2017 parallel to documenta 14. More

KMMN was created as an open, temporary exhibition and event format that took place in the summer of 2017 parallel to documenta 14.


The name plays with spoken language and possible levels of meaning. For example, when vocalized, “KMMN” sounds like both the English word “common” and the German word “Kommen” (come). In the ensuing years, the project was continued through collective student self-organization. In January 2020, kmmn_practice developed out of this context. As an open group, it participated in the documenta fifteen student design competition. kmmn_practice departs from familiar working methods and institutional structures, experimenting instead with forms of collective collaboration and pursuing an open, process-oriented platform.


kmmn_practice’s concept for documenta fifteen is based on this participatory and collective model. The group’s focus is the active involvement of the public in the design process, and methods were developed and applied that enabled interested parties to participate, such as creating a “d” for “documenta” or picking a color using a specially programmed color generator. Can Wagener, Charlotte Bouchon, Chiny Udeani, Johannes Choe, Malika Teßmann, Saskia Kaffenberger, and Sebastian Hohmann were involved in the implementation of this project. Currently the group is investigating what kmmn_practice can and wants to be.


https://kmmnspace.net/practice/

lumbung

ruangrupa: “We want to create a globally oriented, cooperative, interdisciplinary art and culture platform that will remain effective beyond the 100 days of documenta fifteen. Our curatorial approach aims at a different kind of collaborative model of resource use—economically, but also in terms of ideas, knowledge, programs, and innovation.”


ruangrupa’s central curatorial approach for documenta fifteen is based on the principles of collectivity, resource building, and equal sharing. They aim to appeal not just to an art audience but to a variety of communities, and to promote local commitment and participation. Their approach is based on an international network of local, community-based organizations from the art and other cultural contexts and can be outlined by the Indonesian term lumbung. lumbung, directly translatable as “rice barn,” is a collective pot or accumulation system used in rural areas of Indonesia, where crops produced by a community are stored as a future shared common resource and distributed according to jointly determind criteria. Using lumbung as a model, documenta fifteen is a collective resource pot, operating under the logics of the commons. It is an agglomeration of ideas, stories, (wo)manpower, time, and other shareable resources. At the center of lumbung is the imagination and the building of these collective, shared resources into new models of sustainable ideas and cultural practices. This will be fostered by residencies, assemblies, public activities, and the development of tools.

Interdisciplinarity is key in this process. It is where art meets activism, management, and networking to gather support, understand environments, and identify local resources. These elements then create actions and spaces, intertwine social relations and transactions; they slowly grow and organically find a public form. This is a strategy “to live in and with society.” It imagines the relations an art institution has with its community by being an active constituent of it. Strategies are then developed based on proximity and shared desires.


The main principles of the process are:
• Providing space to gather and explore ideas
• Collective decision making
• Non-centralization
• Playing between formalities and informalities
• Practicing assembly and meeting points
• Architectural awareness
• Being spatially active to promote conversation
• A melting pot for and from everyone’s thoughts, energies, and ideas

About ruangrupa

ruangrupa is a Jakarta-based collective established in 2000. It is a non-profit organization that strives to support the idea of art within an urban and cultural context by involving artists and other disciplines, such as the social sciences, politics, technology, media, etc., to offer critical observations and views on Indonesian contemporary urban issues.

The Indonesian word “ruangrupa” loosely translates as “a space for art” or “a space form.” ruangrupa also produce collaborative works in the form of art projects such as exhibitions, festivals, art labs, workshops, research projects, as well as books, magazines, and online-journal publications. ruangrupa’s work is an all-encompassing social, spatial, and personal practice, strongly linked to Indonesian culture in which friendship, solidarity, and community are central values.

ruangrupa runs an art space in South Jakarta. The collective has participated in many cooperative projects and exhibitions, including the Gwangju Biennale (2002 and 2018), the Istanbul Biennial (2005), the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (Brisbane, 2012), the Singapore Biennale (2011), the São Paulo Biennial (2014), the Aichi Triennale (Nagoya, 2016), and Cosmopolis at the Centre Pompidou (Paris, 2017). In 2016, ruangrupa curated transACTION: Sonsbeek 2016 in Arnhem, the Netherlands. In 2018, the collective (together with two other Jakarta-based collectives, Serrum and Grafis Huru Hara) founded GUDSKUL, an educational and networking project for creatives based on cooperative work. At documenta 14, ruangrupa participated with its internet radio station as a partner of the decentralized radio project Every Time a Ear di Soun, which brought together eight radio stations from around the world.

ruangrupa, 2019
Ajeng Nurul Aini, Farid Rakun, Iswanto Hartono, Mirwan Andan, Indra Ameng, Ade Darmawan, Daniella Fitria Praptono, Julia Sarisetiati, Reza Afisina
Photo: Gudskul / Jin Panji

documenta commission

For the first time, the remit of documenta’s Finding Commission has been extended by the Supervisory Board to include the function of a documenta Advisory Board. As the documenta commission, the Advisory Board not only appoints the respective Artistic Direction (as was the case with ruangrupa in February 2019), but also accompanies the continuing project process. The Advisory Board thus provides expert advice to the Supervisory and Management Boards at documenta gGmbH, acts as an ambassador of the documenta exhibition towards the public, can act as a mediator between the Artistic Direction and the Management or Supervisory Board in the event of any differences and finally is responsible for making proposals for the subsequent Finding Commission.


The documenta commission is composed of
• Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
• Charles Esche, Director of the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, Netherlands
• Amar Kanwar, artist, filmmaker, New Delhi, India
• Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern London, United Kingdom
• Gabi Ngcobo, Curator 10th Berlin Biennale 2018, Germany (South Africa)
• Elvira Dyangani Ose, Director of The Showroom London, United Kingdom
• Philippe Pirotte, professor at Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste - Städelschule Frankfurt/M., Germany (Belgium)
• Jochen Volz, Director of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil

The international documenta Advisory Board: Frances Morris, Amar Kanwar, Philippe Pirotte, Elvira
Dyangani Ose, Ute Meta Bauer, Jochen Volz, Charles Esche, Gabi Ngcobo
Photo: Nicolas Wefers, 2019

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Note on artist's submissions

We thank all artists for their interest in documenta. However, we would like to point out that there is no application procedure for documenta. We hope you will understand that unsolicited applications, portfolios, publications, project descriptions and works submitted by post can therefore not be returned.

Press

4 June 2020

ruangrupa on curating in times of crisis

ruangrupa reflect on what it means in to curate in times of crisis in an op-ed article for artnet.More

ruangrupa reflect on what it means in to curate in times of crisis in an op-ed article for artnet.

22 February 2019

ruangrupa Selected as Artistic Direction of documenta 15 
For the First Time an Artist Collective Curates the International Art Exhibition

Nominated unanimously by the International Finding Committee the Supervisory Board appointed ruangrupa, a collective of artists and creatives from Jakarta, Indonesia, with a ten-member core as the artistic direction of documenta 15. This was announced by the general director of documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH, Dr. Sabine Schormann, today. As a result, documenta will be organized by an artist collective for the first time. documenta 15 takes place from 18 June to 25 September 2022 in Kassel.More

Nominated unanimously by the International Finding Committee the Supervisory Board appointed ruangrupa, a collective of artists and creatives from Jakarta, Indonesia, with a ten-member core as the artistic direction of documenta 15. This was announced by the general director of documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH, Dr. Sabine Schormann, today. As a result, documenta will be organized by an artist collective for the first time. documenta 15 takes place from 18 June to 25 September 2022 in Kassel.

For the eight-member Finding Committee, Elvira Dyangani Ose (director of The Showroom, London) and Philippe Pirotte (director of the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule, and director of Portikus, Frankfurt am Main) gave the following reasons for the unanimous decision: “We have appointed ruangrupa because they have demonstrated the ability to appeal to various communities, including groups that go beyond pure art audiences, and to promote local commitment and participation. Their curatorial approach is based on an international network of local community-based art organizations. We are eager to see how ruangrupa will develop a concrete project for and from Kassel. At a time when innovative strength particularly stems from independent organizations active on the community level, it seems only logical to offer this collective approach a platform with documenta.”

The Indonesian word ruangrupa loosely translates as “a space for art” or “a space form.” This field of tension is already apparent from the collective’s central curatorial approach. Farid Rakun and Ade Darmawan, who represented ruangrupa today in Kassel, formulated their decidedly participatory curatorial goals for the international art exhibition in 2022 as follows: “We want to create a globally oriented, cooperative, interdisciplinary art and culture platform that will have an impact beyond the 100 days of documenta 15. Our curatorial approach aims at a different community-oriented model of resource usage – economical, but also taking ideas, knowledge, programs and innovations into account. If documenta was launched in 1955 to heal war wounds, why shouldn’t we focus documenta 15 on today’s injuries, especially ones rooted in colonialism, capitalism, or patriarchal structures, and contrast them with partnership-based models that enable people to have a different view of the world.”

The collective was founded in 2000 in Jakarta, Indonesia. ruangrupa runs an art space in South Jakarta and realizes exhibitions, festivals, publications and radio formats. 
The collective has participated in many cooperation and exhibition projects, including the Gwangju Biennale (2002 und 2018), the Istanbul Biennale (2005), the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (Brisbane, 2012), the Singapore Biennale (2011), the São Paulo Biennale (2014), the Aichi Triennale (Nagoya, 2016) and Cosmopolis at Centre Pompidou (Paris, 2017). In 2016, ruangrupa curated TRANSaction: Sonsbeek 2016 in Arnhem, the Netherlands. In 2018, the participants founded GUDSKUL, an educational and networking project for creatives based on cooperative work.

At documenta 14, ruangrupa participated with its internet radio station as a partner of the decentralized radio project Every Time a Ear di Soun, which brought together eight worldwide radio stations. ruangrupa is a nonprofit organisation. At least one member of the organisation will spend a lot of time in Kassel for the preparation of documenta 15. 
The Chairman of the Supervisory Board of documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH, Lord Mayor Christian Geselle, welcomed the Finding Committee’s selection: 
“For ruangrupa, the principle of networking is of central importance. From Kassel, interdisciplinary artistic interventions will be initiated, which will make the documenta city visible internationally and bring the (art) world to Kassel, as it were. Our city can only benefit from this. I am pleased that documenta is looking to the future in such an exciting way.”

The Hessian Minister of Higher Education, Research and the Arts, Angela Dorn, stresses the potential of social debate: “I am already looking forward to the fact that in three years, with documenta 15, Kassel will again be hosting the world’s most important contemporary art exhibition. The state of Hesse is proud to enable this platform, which promotes discussion of cultural positions today as well as perspectives for the future. With the expansion of the documenta archive into an independent research institute we will further strengthen contemporary art in Kassel. I congratulate the Finding Committee, which proposed the Indonesian artist collective for the artistic direction of the next documenta, and am pleased that the Supervisory Board followed this suggestion. With the selection, documenta is consciously giving room to the non-European view of the art world and bringing the world to Hesse in a completely new way. ruangrupa uses art in its home country to address public issues and problems. I’m looking forward to seeing how they incorporate this idea in documenta 15.”

Hortensia Völckers, director of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, is eagerly looking forward to seeing how the concept is developed further: “As the German Federal Cultural Foundation, we were very pleased about the successful course of the process to find the artistic direction of documenta 15 and congratulate all participants on a result that makes us expect an interesting and inspiring documenta. We are happy to be part of this process and to be able to contribute our expertise to such a renowned exhibition project.”

Sabine Schormann paid tribute to the great commitment of all members of the international Finding Committee: “I would like to thank the international Finding Committee for a dedicated and intensive selection process, which with the presentation of ruangrupa as Artistic Direction sends a strong signal for a vibrant and sustainable documenta 15. I am looking forward to see how the participatory approaches are made more specific in the development process.”

The Finding Committee for documenta 15 is composed of the following experts: 
Ute Meta Bauer, founding director, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore; Charles Esche, director of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands; Amar Kanwar, artist and documentary filmmaker, New Delhi, India; Frances Morris, director of Tate Modern in London, Great Britain; Gabi Ngcobo, curator of the 10th Berlin Biennale 2018 in Germany (South Africa); Elvira Dyangani Ose, director of The Showroom London, England; Philippe Pirotte, director of the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule Frankfurt/M., Germany (Belgium); Jochen Volz, director of Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil.

Please download images here.

You can follow the press conference here