press release

June 2022

Lumbung Community Statement

We, the lumbung community (the artists and members of documenta fifteen), add our collective voices in support of the letter that was published on May 7 by ruangrupa, the artistic team of documenta fifteen, and some curators of the failed forum “We Need to Talk! Art – Freedom – Solidarity,” in response to the ripple effects of the false accusations of antisemitism made against some members of this lumbung community.

Since that time there has been further racist activity against us, and it has crossed over from the digital space into our physical spaces. On May 28, the exhibition and living spaces of documenta were broken into and defaced with what can only be interpreted as a death threat. This is a very worrying escalation of the situation that began almost six months ago here in Kassel.

We are united against the racist attacks that started this sequence of events. And we stand firmly against all forms of discrimination, including racist, xenophobic, antisemitic, sexist, transphobic, anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian, anti-Roma, ableist, casteist, classist, and ageist actions and attacks.

We also express our dismay and disappointment at the amplification that the original baseless blog post of disinformation and manipulated content received in some of the mainstream media. We denounce the media participation in these smear campaigns.

We invite you to read the May 7 letter from ruangrupa here.

We look forward to seeing you during the hundred days of documenta fifteen.

Sincerely,

List of signatories (view here)

Cecilia Campos / Serigrafistas Queer

Ana Carolina Fernández Alfonso / Serigrafistas Queer

María Collado

Marianne Dautrey / Siwa Platform

sally mizrachi

Lina Mejia Alvarez

Arafat Sadallah Siwa Platform

Francesca Masoero / Le 18

Hama GORO / Centre Soleil d'Afrique

Kenan Darwich & Sami Rustom (Fehras Publishing Practices)

Dan Perjovschi

Erick Beltran

Joen Vedel (Jimmie Durham & A Stick in the Forest by the Side of the Road)

Wilma Lukatsch (Jimmie Durham & A Stick in the Forest by the Side of the Road)

Alejandra Rojas / Más Arte Más Acción

Abhinit Khanna / Party Office

Fadescha / Party Office

Ali Akbar Mehta / Party Office

Shaunak Mahbubani / Party Office

Iain Chambers (Jimmie Durham & A Stick in the Forest by the Side of the Road)

Maria Thereza Alves

Elisa Strinna (Jimmie Durham & A Stick in the Forest by the Side of the Road)

Atis Rezistans

Marwa Arsanios

TARING PADI

INLAND- Campo Adentro

Saodat Ismailova

Sebastián Díaz Morales

Andre Eugene & Leah Gordon of Atis Rezistans | Ghetto Biennale

Hajnalka Somogyi / OFF-Biennale Budapest

Nino Bulling

Arts Collaboratory / Kunci Study Forum & Collective

Jaroslava Tomanova

Noor Abed / documenta fifteen team

Joachim Hamou

Yagoutha Belgacem / Siwa plateforme

Martin Swan / Project Art Works

Safdar Ahmed / Refugee Art Project

Fernando Arias / Mas Arte Mas Accion

Kate Adams / Project Art Works

Morten Goll / Trampoline House

Jonathan Colin / Más Arte Más Acción

Ramon Film Productions. Nabwana Isaac Godfrey/ Nakasujja Harriet

The Question of Funding

Graziela Kunsch

Helen Charlton, Project Art Works

Sourabh Phadke

Alice Yard

Richard Bell

Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa / Africa Cluster of the Another Roadmap School (ARAC)

BOLOHO + Reading Room

Andrea Thal / Africa Cluster of the Another Roadmap School (ARAC)

Rossana Alarcón Más Arte Más Acción

Claudia Fontes / La Intermundial Holobiente

María P. Malavasi Lachner / TEOR/éTica

Carlota Mir - trampoline house

Olutayo Aje / Africa Cluster of the Another Roadmap School (ARAC)

Lineo Segoete (ARAC)

Zachary Rosen (ARAC)

Liam Morgan

Baan Noorg Collaborative Arts and Culture

Eszter Szakács / OFF-Biennale Budapest

Katalin Székely / OFF-Biennale Budapest

Nikolett Eross / OFF-Biennale Budapest

Joey Cannizzaro (Party Office)

Jumana Emil Abboud

Crater Invertido Cooperativa (Mexico City)

Krishan Rajapakshe (foundationClasscollective)

yasmine eid-sabbagh

reinaart vanhoe

andrés villalobos / arts collaboratory

Asia Art Archive

ikkibawiKrrr

Cam-Anh Luong (foundationClasscollective)

Nadira Husain (foundationClasscollective)

Issa Freij

Subversive Film

Mohamad Halbouni (foundationClasscollective)

Ali Kaaf (foundationClasscollective)

Lydia Antoniou

Ulf Aminde (foundationClasscollective)

Lontananza Mathieu /Siwa Platform

Harry Sachs (ZK/U)

Matthias Einhoff (ZK/U)

Philip Horst (ZK/U)

Gudskul

Anwar Al Atrash (foundationClasscollective)

khalid Albaih

Haythem Zakaria / Siwa Plateform

Tyuki Imamura

Jasa McKenzie

rana elnemr / Africa Cluster, Another Roadmap School (ARAC)

Robert Gabris

Abiye Okujagu (foundationClasscollective)

Thomas Engelbert

INSTAR

Paula Fleisner / La Intermundial Holobiente

Loup Uberto

Sara Dare / Project Art Works

Kasia Wlaszczyk / documenta fifteen team

Niki Dimopoulou / documenta fifteen team

Cem A. / documenta fifteen team

Eugene Yiu Nam Cheung / documenta fifteen team

Kira Goldbourne / documenta fifteen team

Sara Alberani / Trampoline House

anna sherbany

Chang En-Man

The Black Archives / New Urban Collective

Ben Brix

MADEYOULOOK

Leo Flemisch

Jone Kvie

Fondation Festival sur le Niger

Dina Mimi/ JEA team

NHÀ SÀN COLLECTIVE

Nakasujja Harriet, Nabwana Isaac Geofrey/ Ramon film productions -Wakaliwood

daria chernysheva / crater invertido / arts collaboratory

Miream Salameh/Refugee Art Project

Nguyễn Trinh Thi

agus nuramal.pmtoh

Sead Kazanxhiu

Ilona Nemeth

Kiri Dalena / Respond and Break the Silence Against the Killings

Pablo Martín Ruiz / La Intermundial Holobiente

Hamja Ahsan

El warcha collaborative design studio

Benjamin perrot

Eszter Lázár / OFF-Biennale Budapest

Daniel Baker

Shabu Mwangi / Wajukuu Art Project

Ngugi Waweru / Wajukuu Art Project

Joseph Waweru / Wajukuu Art Project

Amelie Aranguren

Ethel Brooks

Safdar Ahmed / Refugee Art Project

Moor Mother / Black Quantum Futurism

Cao Minghao

Chen Jianjun

Selma Selman

Guille Mongan/Serigrafistas queer

Pinar Öğrenci

Hamza Badran / Jimmie Durham & A Stick in the Forest by the Side of the Road

Christian Nyampheta

Miriam Schickler foundationClasscollective

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lumbung inter-lokal, lumbung Indonesia, and Kassel Ekosistem

The ideas and values of documenta fifteen’s lumbung practice are realized in three networks: lumbung-interlokal, Kassel ekosistem and lumbung Indonesia. While lumbung inter-lokal networks worldwide, Kassel ekosistem and lumbung Indonesia are anchored in their respective locations. Their common goal is to achieve lasting platforms for sustainable action that exist beyond documenta fifteen.

lumbung inter-lokal refers to the international network of the 14 lumbung members of documenta fifteen. The term inter-lokal describes the interweaving of their local practices as well as their international distribution through the network.

lumbung Indonesia is a platform for Indonesian art collectives practicing lumbung. It was established in 2021 by twelve collectives in Jakarta from a context where the supporting structures for contemporary art are far from ideal: They lack access to funds and the so-called “global” contemporary art circuits. With their programs they strive to build up cultural powerhouses in their localities. They experiment with new artistic economic models not only to improve the working conditions in the field of art, but ways of living. Therefore, the artistic practice of lumbung Indonesia is focused on activism and imagination in the fields of space, economy, education, and ecology.

While the Kassel ekosistem and lumbung inter-lokal were created in the context of documenta fifteen, lumbung Indonesia developed differently: Its roots reach back to the research initiative FIXER which already started in 2010. FIXER gathers and archives knowledge about the operating models and sustainability strategies of art collectives in Indonesia. Its research leads to publications, exhibitions, and discussions. Today it is driven by lumbung member Gudskul, an educational knowledge-sharing platform by the Jakarta-based collectives ruangrupa, Serrum, and Grafis Huru Hara.

The publication Articulating Fixer 2021. An Appraisal of Indonesian Art Collectives in the Last Decade in English is available in Kassel during documenta fifteen for purchase at lumbung Kios at ruruHaus, WIKULLiL at Lemon House, Rotopol, Sandershaus, and also for free download and common use at books.lumbung.space.

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Artistic Direction of documenta 15: ruangrupa
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.

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 seeing 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.