Park Sonsbeek

Together with Arnhem’s city centre and Museum Arnhem, Park Sonsbeek forms the heart of SONSBEEK ’16: transACTION. Sonsbeek is designed in the style of an English park and inspired by Dutch landscape paintings of the seventeenth century. With its remarkable white villa, idyllic views with cows and deer and romantic paths past streams and waterfalls, Park Sonsbeek is one of the most beautiful urban parks in the Netherlands.

Park Sonsbeek, installations and podiums

Park Sonsbeek hosts twelve artworks during SONSBEEK ’16: transACTION, each of which has a unique role and significance. All the artists participating in the exhibition have met and seen the park together with park-keeper Jeroen Glissenaar. This was part of the artistic research to gather stories about the history and diverse functions of the park and its importance to park visitors.

Platforms to exchange and to meet

The exhibits also serve as podiums, bringing people together and encouraging exchange. Through lectures, workshops and performances presented in and around the artworks Arnhem residents and visitors also become part of SONSBEEK ’16: transACTION. Without these events the exhibits would just be sculptures; by inviting local residents and visitors to take part, to contribute and change, a continuous flow of transactions involving all kinds of different people evolves.

Museum Arnhem: transHISTORY

Throughout SONSBEEK ’16, Museum Arnhem presents transHISTORY, a group exhibition featuring ten artists from around the world offering an alternative view of official, authorised history. Ruangrupa are interested in personal stories, specifically those relating to colonial history. Exhibits in the museum show that history is not static, it is continually developing and forms an integral part of everyday life and current issues.

New perspective on colonial history

The exhibition, which fills the entire west wing of the museum, includes performance, installations, video, photography and sculpture. Ruangrupa approach history from different perspectives, rather than from opposing positions such as winner and loser, hero and villain and coloniser and colonised. A major source of inspiration is Polish researcher Rudolf Mrázek’s Engineer of Happy Land which explores the late colonial period in Indonesia in an original and unconventional way.

transHISTORY brings the established view of history into question, allowing the static contours to dissolve. In this show, ruangrupa also reflect on the way today’s generation views the juxtaposition of North and South. Personal histories of Arnhem residents, born and bred as well as new arrivals, are a feature of the exhibition. 

City of Arnhem

Ruangrupa is interested in the city’s dynamic. Especially in the people who together actually form the city. For ruangrupa, it is the city’s residents who own the public spaces. Ruangrupa take the city itself as the basis for SONSBEEK ’16: transACTION. In the city ruangrupa search for ways to connect with those who live and work there. They do that at ruru huis by collaborating with Arnhem initiatives, gathering stories and passing these on, and by showing murals as part of everyday life.

Murals in the city

If the city is formed by the people who live and work there, then the streets belong to everyone and that is where art should start. Ruangrupa have invited artists from Arnhem and far beyond to create murals and to give and new impulse to iconic locations. Some of the murals are created during SONSBEEK ’16: transACTION, enabling residents and visitors to watch the murals develop and to get to know the artists as they become familiar figures in the city.

City on the move

Ruangrupa also get the city moving by connecting people. Exchange makes a city more colourful and challenges people to look beyond their boundaries. For SONSBEEK ’16: transACTION ruangrupa link their international network with Arnhem and connect artists from around the world with local art initiatives. With ArtEZ, Focus Filmtheater, Generale Oost, Motel SpatieCode Rood and others they have developed a diverse programme of contemporary sculpture, performance and film.

The partner locations
Focus FilmTheater
Code Rood
Motel Spatie
Arthouse Arnhem
Galerie de vijf ramen

ruru huis

Everyone is welcome at ruru huis, which ruangrupa opened in July 2015. Initially located at Looierstraat 43 in Arnhem, ruru huis is a place to work and to meet, much like ruangrupa’s house in Jakarta. From June 22 onwards, ruru huis will be located at Molenplaats. ruangrupa
hosts exhibitions, performances, meetings, lectures and workshops there, in conjunction with Arnhem initiatives and artists involved with SONSBEEK ’16: transACTION. There are tables to work at, a library, a showcase with exhibits, a karaoke machine, and an underground gallery in the basement.

Also, you will find a collection of maps of different areas of Arnhem, including Sonsbeek Park, the centre, Klarendal, Presikhaaf and Malburgen. These maps allowed ruangrupa to gather the personal histories and favorite locations of the people who live and work in Arnhem, enabling them to get to know the city and its people. The map also charts the consequences of developments in the city, and triggers us to speculate about stories in Arnhem’s public space.

ruru huis is run by ruangrupa, Marije Tangelder, Thijs Groenewegen, Nikita Oldert, Stefanie Harsevoort, Estella Gonzales Limachi, Nadine Rhodé, Sanne Oorthuizen, Sanne de Vries, Eef Veldkamp, Jonah Travolta, Iris Wissenburg, Bob Mors, Molenplaats en Reinaart Vanhoe.

Ruru buitendienst explore public space in Arnhem

Ruru buitendienst is a group of young artists and researchers (Sanne Oorthuizen, Sanne de Vries, Simone de Kinderen, Eef Veldkamp) in Arnhem who examine the concept of public space in the city. They gather stories connected to the city by interviewing artists and residents and by organising artistic interventions, which enables them to develop knowledge about diverse phenomena, people and places: about people who use the city, types of property, transgression, youth culture and the visible and invisible power structures that interweave everyday life.

Join the reading group

Every fortnight ruru buitendienst holds a reading group in which the central text comprises the legal regulations governing public spaces in Arnhem: Plaatselijke Verordening voor Arnhem (PVA). Everyone is welcome to take part. An interim report on the ongoing discussion will appear in April 2016 in the first part of ruru huis’s Karbon Arnhem File publication series.

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Museum Bronbeek: SO

Maastricht sculptor Juul Sadée (b. 1958, Heerlen) is interested in how art and culture is able to play a meaningful role in society. Her work evolves from her contact with individuals and groups. Ruangrupa invited her to create a piece for Museum Bronbeek focusing on Dutch colonial history, in particular on the Dutch colonial army, Koninklijk Nederlands-Indisch Leger (KNIL), and its opponents.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the migration of 12,000 former KNIL soldiers from the Moluccan islands in newly independent Indonesia to the Netherlands. They were housed in temporary barracks, without work permits and few social benefits. Life in the Netherlands and integration into Dutch society was not easy. They were fiercely proud of their Moluccan heritage, their sense of honour and their adat, or tradition. War-related traumas reverberated among the second generation who lived in what Sadée describes as an in-between situation. They also passed their loyalty to their Moluccan-born parents and their traditions to the next generation, a third generation which now regards that heritage from a more independent perspective.

Sadée examines how the second generation experienced this. What was family life to them? How did they view their parents’ history and their unresolved traumas? How did the violent train hijacking, the protests and hostage taking of the 1970s impact on the community? The view of second-generation women is seldom heard. In this project, Sadée brings these women to the fore and gives them a voice.

SO is an interactive project resulting from intense collaboration with women of Arnhem’s Moluccan community. Moluccan art, culture and history hardly appear in any representation of Dutch history, least of all museums. Indeed, in 2012 the Moluccan Historical Museum was finally forced to close. Possibly in today’s politically correct world it is inconvenient to distinguish between Moluccan and Indonesian culture. In her installation, Sadée turns the spotlight on this dark page of Dutch colonial history.