We would like to share stories from the on going process of preparing for documenta fifteen towards 2022, which begins with a series of flashbacks from 2020.
Since being appointed as the artistic directors of documenta fifteen, we have worked through different time zones, between Kassel and Jakarta. We also had the opportunity to pay several visits to the city of Kassel from 2019 to early 2020, to start getting acquainted with the city and its people.
Previously, we have shared the story about lumbung. ruangrupa has built the foundation of documenta fifteen on lumbung’s core values and ideas. Lumbung, which can be translated directly as “rice barn”, is a collective pot or accumulation system, in which the community’s crops are stored as a shared resource for the future. Lumbung is an agglomeration of ideas, stories, energy, time and other shareable resources. We’ve been tinkering with and are still experimenting with the idea, as much as we can.
Together with colleagues from the documenta fifteen Artistic Team—Gertrude Flentge, Frederikke Hansen, Lara Khaldi, Ayşe Güleç, and Andrea Linnenkohl—we work collectively by sharing roles, authorships and ideas. Due to the pandemic situation, since April 2020, the Artistic Team members are connected and working together online almost everyday, from their respective locations in Jakarta, Kassel, Amsterdam, Ramallah, Møn, and Makassar.
In mid-June 2020, we introduced the first nine lumbung-members. Against the background of today’s challenging times, in which numerous initiatives and groups of people in various places are struggling, the starting point of this lumbung has been built by Fondation Festival Sur Le Niger, Gudskul, INLAND, Jatiwangi art Factory, Más Arte Más Acción, OFF-Biennale, Trampoline House , Question of Funding, and Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik. In October 2020, all lumbung-members gathered virtually to let the streams of ideas travel and to make connection between one place and another. We all got together to introduce ourselves, share our stories, our ideas about the barns, and our initial projections for the next two years—and beyond..
Two members of ruangrupa, Reza Afisina and Iswanto Hartono, have settled in Kassel since mid-2020. First thing they did is preparing ruruHaus. ruruHaus is a part of ruangrupa’s own history related to nongkrong (Indonesian for gathering/hanging out), when we turned private living rooms to public spaces in the beginning of our collective journey. As a curatorial practice, ruruHaus stands for opening up spaces for gathering and sharing resources. It is a space for many things to be cooked, a way of gaining an understanding of the larger ecosystems of Kassel. ruruHaus started small and have grown slowly with time. A diversity of knowledges, skills, experiences, necessities, and values are brought in and finding their balance here. ruruHaus is, in short, a laboratory and a kitchen, with a radio station to resonate multiplicities of stories. The ruruHaus’ hardware is the former Sportarena department store on Treppenstraße, Friedrichsplatz.
The visual identity of documenta fifteen resulted from international group collaborations between Jakarta, Kassel and Berlin, inspired by lumbung. The student collective Studio 4oo2 from Jakarta has been working on a visual identity for documenta fifteen. In this process, the Berlin-based design bureau Stan Hema. as well as team members from documenta fifteen in Kassel joined, connected through regular online workshops. In December 2020, the splash of colors on ruruHaus, as a part of documenta fifteen’s new visual identity, marked the beginning of its appearance.