press release

SONSBEEK is returning to the scene of international contemporary arts with SONSBEEK '16: transACTION. The main venues for the exhibition are Park Sonsbeek, Museum Arnhem and the city of Arnhem. SONSBEEK '16 is compiled by curatorial collective ruangrupa (Jakarta, Indonesia), whose approach to art and social themes stems from a spatial and personal perspective. The selection of artists is characterised by an emphasis on the interaction between artists, the city, residents and audiences. These interactions create a new perspective on social issues concerning us all.

The first installations will be set up in Park Sonsbeek in May, hosting a range of activities throughout the exhibition to stimulate and engage visitors. These installations are new meeting venues/platforms for acts of sharing, for people to meet and linger in the park and for everyone to use. Park Sonsbeek features site-specific work by Alphons ter Avest, Richard Bell, Maze de Boer, Rossella Biscotti, Kevin van Braak, Louie Cordero, Cinema Caravan, Jeroen Glissenaar, Shilpa Gupta, Jatiwangi Art Factory, Folkert de Jong, KUNSTrePUBLIK, Eko Prawoto, Jan Rothuizen, Slavs & Tatars and Rob Voerman.

SONSBEEK '16 includes an exhibition at Museum Arnhem: transHISTORY. ruangrupa is interested in the importance of individuals' perspectives, micro histories, and the possibilities of alternative points of view on the history of colonization. Art works in the museum will show that history is not static, it continually develops and forms part of everyday life and reality. For transHISTORY, Eva Kotátková and Agung Kurniawan create site-specific work. The presentation includes work by Tiffany Chung, Zbigniew Libera, Charles Lim, Tayeba Lipi, Otobong Nkanga, Jean-Gabriel Périot, Marco Paulo Rolla and Roy Villevoye & Jan Dietvorst. Juul Sadee creates a site-specific work at Museum Bronbeek.

Arnhem's city centre is also a main venue for SONSBEEK '16: transACTION with site-specific work by Michael Blum, Sebastian Diaz Morales, Iswanto Hartono, Kuratorisk Aktion, Fintan Magee, Naamloozz, Nnamari, Mark Salvatus, Sivanski and Marishka Soekarna. Collaborations with local cultural partners is key to ruangrupa's strategy. Focus Film Theatre: Arkipel; Code Rood: Tranzit; Generale Oost: Contact Gonzo/Arnhemse meisjes; and Motel Spatie: Crater Invertido. Residencies and interventions in the city by Cut and Rescue and Mixrice. Next to Museum Arnhem, ArtEZ University of the Arts is a leading partner.

ruangrupa's theme transACTION places the emphasis on exchange. Not only in an economic sense, but also between people and between people and their surroundings. SONSBEEK '16: transACTION is about the dynamics of the city. ruangrupa started their Arnhem-based research in July 2015, establishing ruru huis run by Reinaart Vanhoe and Sanne Oorthuizen in the city centre to connect with citizens and to understand the city. Close collaborations have enabled alternative stories to emerge, and different ways of experiencing the urban environment.

About ruangrupa
ruangrupa is an art initiative founded in 2000 by a group of Indonesian artists in Jakarta. ruangrupa is fascinated by and actively involved in issues relating to common rights to the city. It is known for its extensive research projects on (large) urban interventions, which connect public spaces and residents through public and artistic concepts. From this it has developed specific methods for observing and approaching, which ruangrupa has employed in cities such as Jakarta, Istanbul, Sydney and São Paulo. SONSBEEK '16: transACTION is collated by seven core members of ruangrupa: Ade Darmawan, Ajeng Nurul Aini, Farid Rakun, Hafiz, Indra Ameng, Mirwan Andan and Reza Afisina.

In 1949 Arnhem held its first international sculpture exhibition in Park Sonsbeek. Its open-air setting focussed on the idea of taking works of art to the people. SONSBEEK took place at irregular intervals until 2008. With SONSBEEK '71, it pushed the boundaries of international contemporary arts "beyond the pale." With its leading editions held between 1949 and 2008, SONSBEEK has constantly played a pioneering role through its novel presentations of art in public space. In collaboration with the curatorial collective ruangrupa, SONSBEEK once again brings art to the public in 2016. SONSBEEK '16: transACTION marks the start of a quadrennial, the 12th edition will take place in 2020.