Documenta 2022 Will Now Have Even More Curators, With the Nine-Person Collective Organizing It Bringing in 9 Other Organizations to Help

The Indonesian collective in charge of documenta 15 has revealed their plans for the preeminent exhibition.

ruangrupa's online assembly, 2020. Courtesy documenta.

The nine-member collective set to lead the next documenta already amounted to a lot of cooks in the kitchen. Now, the creative forces behind the quinquennial show are multiplying even further. The Jakarta-based group ruangrupa has recruited new collaborators for the 2022 edition, one of the most influential contemporary art events in the world. They have also revealed the first location and not one, but two, visual identities.

Expanding on their original curatorial concept of “lumbung,” which means “rice barn” in Indonesian and represents the group’s aim to have a collective mode of sustainable resource-sharing, ruangrupa has enlisted nine initiatives from around the world to work with them. Each of these so-called “lumbung-members” is, like ruangrupa, operating with an alternative economic or organizational model, and each has social practice engrained in its activities.

In a recent opinion piece on Artnet News (written collectively, of course), ruangrupa’s members described their interest in flattening the typical hierarchies that exist in exhibition-making. Each of the recently named participants will invite additional members from various locales around the world to offer input. Due to the global health situation, the groups have been meeting online as a virtual “assembly.”

The exhibition is scheduled to take place from June 18 through September 25, 2022 in the German city of Kassel. In the lead-up to the opening, the group is planning to install themselves there and found ruruHaus, a semi-permanent “living room” space at a former department store.

documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH: ruruHaus. Photo: Nicolas Wefers.

The location will also be the site of the newly appointed lumbung-members’ activities. These international collaborators are: Fondation Festival Sur Le Niger from Ségou, Mali; Gudskul from Jakarta, Indonesia; INLAND from Spain; Jatiwangi art Factory from Jatiwangi, Indonesia; Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center from Ramallah, West Bank; Más Arte Más Acción (MAMA) from Nuqui, Choco, Colombia; OFF-Biennale from Budapest, Hungary; Trampoline House from Copenhagen, Denmark; and ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik from Berlin, Germany.

“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,” ruangrupa said in a statement. “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 15 in Kassel and its relations to other locales.”

Ruangrupa has also announced five individuals, which the group describes as friends or “allies,” to form an “artistic team” for documenta 15. The group—Andrea Linnenkohl, Ayşe Güle, Frederikke Hansen, Lara Khaldi, and Gertrude Flentge—will assist in the planning and execution of the show. Two different design studios, one based in Jakarta (4oo2) and one based in Kassel (kmmn_practice), will manage different aspects of the show’s visual identity.

“We want to create a globally oriented, cooperative, interdisciplinary art and culture platform that will remain effective beyond the 100 days of documenta 15,” ruangrupa said. “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.”

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