AAA is participating in documenta fifteen, initiated by Jakarta-based collective ruangrupa. It is organised around the concept of lumbung (“rice barn”), which refers to communal buildings in rural Indonesia where the harvest is stored and distributed to the community. Collectivity and resource distribution constitute the main values and principles for the structure and working methods.
As part of a group of collectives and organisations working on education and archiving in an expanded sense, AAA’s contribution to documenta fifteen is a display that foregrounds the active role artists themselves have played in preserving and mediating cultural knowledge. Located in the Fridericianum—one of the first public museums in the world and one of the main venues of documenta fifteen—Translations, Expansions presents artworks and archival materials about collective undertakings by artists who learn from vernacular cultural practices across Asia.
These collective undertakings include the artists connected to the Baroda Faculty of Fine Arts, who participated in the Living Traditions movement in post-independent India; Womanifesto, a feminist art collective and a biennial programme in Thailand most active from 1997 to 2005; and the network of performance art festivals that blossomed across East and Southeast Asia starting in the 1990s, as documented by Ray Langenbach, Lee Wen, and others. These instances have inspired and informed AAA’s own understanding of archives as sites for knowledge-sharing and artistic production.
Conversation: Keleketla! Library, The Black Archives, and Asia Art Archive
Date and time: Sun, Jun 19, 4–6pm CET
Venue: Fridskul Common Library, Fridericianum, documenta fifteen, Kassel
This event brings together Keleketla! Library in Johannesburg, The Black Archives in Amsterdam, and AAA to discuss how to challenge and redefine the infrastructures of libraries and archives to accommodate multiple stories and communities. The conversation will also invite other lumbung artists and Fridskul members to share their practices, urgencies, and stories.
Art Schools of Asia: Salima Hashmi and Zheng Shengtian
Date and time: Tue, Jun 21, 5:30–7:00pm CET
Venue: Fridskul Common Library, documenta fifteen, Kassel
Part of the Art Schools of Asia programme, this conversation brings together Salima Hashmi and Zheng Shengtian, two artists who have been mentors to generations of artists since the 1960s. The two will share their experiences at the National College of Arts, Lahore (Hashmi), and the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou (Zheng), and discuss the intersection of learning and art-making in their practices. In a workshop to be held separately with members of the Art Schools of Asia programme, they will also explore how art pedagogy has enabled not just self-development but also collective identity across the region.
Workshop: Artists as Educators
Date and time: Wed, 22 Jun 2022, 10am–12pm CET
Venue: Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany
Co-organised with Dr Gwendolin Lübbecke from the Art Education Department of Kunsthochschule Kassel, this workshop invites pre-service art educators based in Kassel to discuss the role of artists as educators and mediators of knowledge. Taking AAA Collections as a point of departure, the participants will discuss tools and methodologies to facilitate learning through contemporary art in Asia and imagine archives as sites for creative inquiry.
Conversation: Artist-led Models of Resource Sharing
Date and time: Tue, 19 Jul, 1–3pm CET / 7–9pm HKT
Venue: Gudskul at Fridericianum, documenta fifteen, Kassel & livestreamed on Zoom
Co-presented with Goethe-Institut Hongkong and Gudskul, this event brings together Hong Kong–based artists May Fung and Tang Kwok Hin with Gudskul and ruangrupa to discuss artist-led models of resource sharing, with a focus on spaces in Hong Kong and Indonesia. This conversation explores Fung’s experience running the Foo Tak Building in Hong Kong, where artists and collectives with similar urgencies share spaces and resources; Tang’s 1983, a gathering place for artists and thinkers, transformed from his ancestral home in an 800-year-old village; and the space-sharing models Gudskul and ruangrupa have developed in Jakarta.
The livestreamed programme is free and open to the public with registration on Asia Art Archive's website. Please click here for programme details and registration.
Screenings and Hangout at Film-Shop, Kassel: Film-Shop, The Black Archives, and Asia Art Archive
(The event has been cancelled)
Date and time: Sat, 23 Jul, 3–9PM CET
Venue: Film-Shop, Kassel
Join us for an afternoon of film screenings and an informal gathering at Film-Shop Kassel—a film archive, community centre, and the world’s oldest video rental store. Co-organised by Film-Shop/Randfilm in Kassel, The Black Archives in Amsterdam, and AAA, this day is dedicated to films and stories about solidarity, community-building, and Black and Asian heritage.
Translations, Expansions features materials from the archives of Jyoti Bhatt, Ray Langenbach, Lee Wen, Nilima Sheikh, and Womanifesto; and loans from the Department of Painting, Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University of Baroda, Lawan Jirasuradej, Karla Sachse, Phaptawan Suwannakudt, and Nitaya Ueareeworakul. Made possible by the kind assistance of the Museum of Art & Photography, Bengaluru.
AAA is part of one of the mini-majelis—groups that regularly meet to exchange ideas and share resources—at documenta fifteen, which includes Another Roadmap Africa Cluster (Kampala, Nyanza, Lubumbashi, Kinshasa, Maseru, Johannesburg, Lagos, and Cairo), Archives des luttes des femmes en Algérie (Algiers), Centre d'art Waza (Lubumbashi), El Warcha (Tunis), Graziela Kunsch (São Paulo), Keleketla! Library (Johannesburg), Komîna Fîlm a Rojava (Rojava), Sada [regroup] (Baghdad and other locations), Siwa Platforme - L'Economat at Redeyef (Redeyef), and The Black Archives (Amsterdam), who will present their projects at the Fridericianum.
Members of the AAA team—consisting of artists, researchers, curators, and educators—developed the display through a series of conversations, reading groups, and creative exercises. Special thanks to the working team: Pallavi Arora, Samira Bose, Gabrielle Chan, Sam Chao, Susanna Chung, Özge Ersoy, Christopher K. Ho, Lydia Lam, Charlotte Mui, Sneha Ragavan, John Tain, Rebecca Tso, and Debby Tsui. Thanks to Carol Choi, Paul C. Fermin, Leah Lam, Paco Ma and Chương-Đài Võ.
Supported by documenta gGmbH, as well as Wendy Lee & Stephen Li, and Virginia & Wellington Yee.