THE COLLECTIVE EYE IN CONVERSATION WITH RUANGRUPA
Thoughts on Collective Practice.
Edited by The Collective Eye / Dominique Lucien Garaudel, Heinz-Norbert Jocks,
Emma Nilsson; and Matthias Kliefoth
DISTANZ Verlag, 2022
The documenta fifteen will be curated by a collective for the first time in its history. Another first: the artistic directors come from Asia. ruangrupa is an association of nine friends who unconditionally combine art with their everyday lives as a practice of living and surviving together under the socioeconomic conditions of their native Indonesia. Fourteen other collectives, so-called lumbung members, have been invited to join ruangrupa in transforming Kassel into a new, sustainable ekosistem. Lumbung, the Indonesian term for a communal rice barn, is the starting point for all their activities and also this documenta.
In this volume of the book series Thoughts on Collective Practice ruangrupa talks about their beginnings, the harsh struggle for survival under the Suharto regime in Indonesia, the post-dictatorship euphoria, student protests, punk, and video culture. About their first art projects, maintaining solidary social relationships, the Indonesian tradition of sharing, and their unusual approach to resources.
The autobiographical conversations are supplemented by five exemplary glimpses into ruangrupa’s projects since 2003 and unpublished archival material.
The Collective Eye (TCE), founded 2012 in Montevideo, organizes exhibitions and symposia on collective practice in art. The collective has pursued a partnership with DISTANZ since 2021, publishing the book series Thoughts on Collective Practice as an extended collective between the publishing team and TCE. Their work aims to strengthen polynational dialogues between different collectives as well as between collectives and theorists. The volume of conversations with ruangrupa is the fourth installation in the series.