The invitation from ruangrupa to be part of the lumbung at documenta fifteen came at a time of organizational transition, following more than eleven years of working in Colombia, including the Pacific Coast. This trajectory has allowed MAMA to establish relationships that have questioned different ways of living in a world that faces multiple crises related to colonial and capitalist models.
Lumbung is an Indonesian term for a “rice granary”; a system used in rural Indonesia, where the crops produced by a community are stored as a commons for future needs and distributed through collective governance. Using the lumbung as a model, documenta fifteen is conceived as a container of collective resources that functions under the logic of what might be called the commons; it is an agglomeration of ideas, stories, labour, time and other sharable resources. This is both the concept of the exhibition at documenta fifteen and the questioning of its production, its power relations and its economy, but above all the possibility of supporting the continuity of artistic ecosystems in different contexts of the world, that struggle to exist.
The following questions arose as part of the network of relationships and collaborations that sustain artistic practices in the Colombian context:
How can this contribute to the sustainability of local art practices around the world that often struggle on a daily basis to survive? How can we share insights into social issues, working with community, educational and activist processes? Can documenta begin to see itself as a long-term collaborator with institutions, collectives, communities and artists? How can more inclusive and sustainable approaches in the international art scene share their resources in a regenerative way with the communities and artists who provide the content?
We will share this process of experimentation and learning through participating in documenta fifteen, exploring forms of collaboration that will enrich the lumbung experience.
Gertrude Flentge, a member of the documenta fifteen artistic team and Michelle Coffey, Executive Director of Lambent Foundation and part of a working group on the funding paradigm shift with Arts Collaboratory, joined us for a virtual event, the last april 29th, 2021; to kick off the discussion. We also invited friends, allies and organisations that have accompanied our processes.
Here is a recording of the meeting, which is an important input to a broad conversation about the sustainability of our processes: the video is in English and Spanish, the drawing is by Juliana Serrano from Amazink. Please download the following links:
Video in English: https://vimeo.com/557448756/9f75c7f345
Drawing in high resolution ES/EN: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/15YCz81un60mZ8krKf2K0i-ZSf0nVCgAP?usp=sharing
We are continuing these conversations and exploring the issues raised by our participation in Lumbung / Documenta15.