SONSBEEK ’16: transACTION is curated by ruangrupa collective. Ruangrupa is intimately involved in Indonesian culture, in which community, collectivity and friendship are key. For ruangrupa, contemporary art is about working together and connecting, with individuals and groups.
Originally founded in 2000 in Jakarta, Indonesia, by six friends, the collective comprises around forty artists, writers, historians and curators who have created a space in which artists and young people can meet and work: a space in which to experiment and discuss urban issues such as mobility, environmental pollution and housing shortage. They invite people from different disciplines to lecture and debate and to collaborate on art and research projects.
SONSBEEK ’16: transACTION
is compiled by seven core members: Ade Darmawan, Indra Ameng, Farid Rakun,
Hafiz, Reza Afisina, Mirwan Andan and Ajeng Nurul Aini.
Contemporary art in an urban context
Ruangrupa operates within an urban context and examines our shared right to the city. Taking an open, critical stance, ruangrupa activates a wide range of groups and individuals in playful, accessible ways to examine relationships in the city together: Who has a right to the public spaces in the city? How do different subcultures and communities conduct themselves in public spaces? And how is that determined from a historical, social and political perspective?
Ruangrupa has built up a powerful international reputation with its unique approach to the ongoing research into developments in large urban environments. Ruangrupa has been invited to participate in biennales in Sao Paulo, Brazil (2014), Asia Pacific Triennial Brisbane, Australia (2012), Singapore (2011), Istanbul, Turkey (2005) and Gwangju, South-Korea (2002) while members of ruangrupa have shown work around the world in exhibitions, workshops and lectures.
Stories connect people
Involvement is a central aspect of ruangrupa’s transACTION theme. And sharing stories plays a key role. Because stories create a connection. People have been telling each other stories for centuries to inspire, to entertain, to impart knowledge and to shape history and pass it on. For ruangrupa, transactions are not exchanges involving money, they encompass all kinds of exchange between people and their environment, and how they influence each other. Exchanges in spatial, cultural, political and social fields involve the interchange of ideas, knowledge and experiences.
Alternative stories and strategies
In SONSBEEK ’16: transACTION, ruangrupa explores the connection between park and city, residents and urban developments and public spaces. Because these are the people, the ideas and the history that form the DNA of the city of Arnhem. Like many medium-sized Western European cities, Arnhem is dealing with issues such as an aging population, mobility and buildings that remain unused. Ruangrupa is interested in how townspeople experience these issues, and values their stories and feedback.
The art is exhibited in spacial, social, political and historical contexts in the city and the region, in direct contact with residents and the public spaces. Installations also serve as podiums for various activities, audiovisual and media art, performances, lectures, workshops and shows. With ruangrupa’s research-oriented approach, an artwork’s evolution is as important as the final result.