Commentary english

Until Next Time, Museum of 100 Days!

Documenta fiffteen has officially ended yesterday. I couldn’t be more proud of ruangrupa as the first Indonesian artistic director of this world renowned and prestigious art exhibition! Their approach was radical, focused on collaboration and networking/ shared value (hence ‘lumbung’ as a concept), rather than curator-led. ruangrupa invited art collectives, organisations, and institutions from around the world, and they invited another artists/collaborators for their project, and so on. So God knows the exact number of participating artists in this documenta edition!

Despite the controversies that were surrounding (you can google it yourself, but it’s safe to say I’m on their side), ruangrupa has shown us what a non-eurocentric art exhibition looked like.

Taken from the last day of documenta fifteen. Seen on stage Ade Darmawan and Reza Afisina (two of ruangrupa board members) in front of thousands of documenta fifteen supporters (collectives, artists, local citizen, etc). (Credit: Marishka Soekarna, one of the participating artist, shared via Whatsapp group)

Although I live 11,000 km away from Kassel, Germany, where documenta fifteen took place, I can feel how heartwarming and full of solidarity this whole ‘lumbung’ and ‘ecosystem’ exhibition was through their well organized virtual programs and daily updates on social media. Of course I didn’t hesitate when ruangrupa asked me to be the editor for their Indonesian and English edition of Lumbung magazine.

majalah lumbung documenta fifteen id-en
Two edition of Majalah Lumbung (Indonesian-English version)

As part of the exhibition, documenta fifteen was publishing two issues of a magazine that hone in on the core idea of the exhibition, which is collective working. In total there are 26 works, written by Indonesian (spread from Aceh to Papua) writers, researchers, and contributors. It’s a humbling experience to be able to work (even just to edit and proofread her writing) with prominent figures, such as Prof. Melani Budianta, M.A., PhD.

(Read my previous writing about Majalah Lumbung magazine here.)

I guess 2022 to me is about bidding farewell and gaining something new from it. Congratulations once again to ruangrupa, organising committee, and to all collectives, organisation, and institutions! My highest respect to all Indonesian artists involved, I’m a proud friend/ collaborator! ✊