With every act of showing, something invisible is performed as well: Institutional frameworks, questions of representations, and practices of collaboration are an essential part of every moment of display. How do they relate to the process of showing?
Space and Graphic Design
Felix Brenner, Mathilde Guiot, Stephany Joyce, Matthias Klein, Hannah Lamarti, Konstantin Rosenkranz, Victoria-Luise Welsh
Felix Brenner, Mathilde Guiot, Stephany Joyce, Matthias Klein, Hannah Lamarti, Konstantin Rosenkranz, Victoria-Luise Welsh
|2.15 pm||Nongkrong (hangout session) — non public||ruangrupa (farid rakun/Indra Ameng) — Nongkrong with ruangrupa|
|6 pm||Lecture||Simon Sheikh — The Show and the No Show: Approaches to Presentation, Representation and Depresentation|
ruangrupa (farid rakun & indra ameng)
Imitating the (un)productive sensibility the group practices, this nongkrong (directly translatable to, but can be understood as more than “hang out”) session has two ruangrupa members, farid rakun and Indra Ameng, opening up their living room to speak, explain, discuss and challenge different curatorial methods they have developed – from the meaning of making exhibitions, music festivals and karaoke parties, up to the particular spatial practice they devised from Jakarta's urban corners. Let's nongkrong. Waste some time. Talk, eat and drink. Bring your own, or not. Be present and bring presents. Let’s share!
hangout sessionNongkrong with ruangrupa
The art collective ruangrupa (the name translates loosely as “a space for art”) was founded by a group of art students in 2000, two years after the fall of Suharto’s dictatorship. The period known as “reformasi” ushered in a golden age of grassroots, alternative cultural and civil initiatives. ruangrupa was conceived as a hub for critical thinking and collaborative art practice in Jakarta where, by providing different art events, festivals and services, they have solidified into one of the leading non-profit art organizations. Meanwhile, ruangrupa has transformed into an interdisciplinary group, which includes architects, social and political scientists, among others, whose agenda is focused on contemporary urban issues and the notion of collectivity. The group runs various art projects and services, such as a radio channel, a library, a publishing house, and a public learning space. farid rakun and Indra Ameng are two members of ruangrupa who are both wearing different hats, depending on who is asking. The artist collective will curate documenta 15 in Kassel in 2022.
This lecture will look at how an exhibition simultaneously makes points of view possible and impossible. On the one hand it simply presents (say, images, texts or objects), while always also representing (say, subjects and values). On the other hand each exhibition, as a constellation, excludes more than it includes, and as such depresents. Depresentation will here be understood as part and parcel of exhibition-making, but also in terms of not showing at all. The notion of the No Show will be discussed in terms of the exhibition project that is not an exhibition, i.e. a curatorial format that deconstructs or undoes the exhibition itself, as well as in terms of rejection from possible publics not showing up, or, as a recent tool in contemporary art discourse, through the plea for boycotts of specific events and institutions, as a way of demonstration, that is of showing by calling for the no show.
LectureThe Show and the No Show: Approaches to Presentation, Representation and Depresentation
Dr. Simon Sheikh is a curator and theorist. He is Reader in Art and Programme Director of MFA Curating at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a correspondent for Springerin, Vienna, and a columnist for e-flux Journal, New York. Recent publications include Former West: Art and the Contemporary After 1989, 2016 (with Maria Hlavajova), and Curating After the Global, 2019 (with Paul O’Neill, Lucy Steeds and Mick Wilson). He is currently a member of the core group for the 3rd Bergen Assembly, Actually, the Dead are Not.
Day 4 – non-show session living-room atmosphere dedicated invisibility representation evolving together protest activists demands emissions renewable changes discussed fixed policies withdrawal boycott demonstration justice code negotiate atmosphere personal story hang-out laboratory white-cube schedule conceptualized devised founded art students dictatorship period movements hub interdisciplinary agenda focus waste touring performing informal to cut in discussion structure video picture initiative mailing-list meeting house residence area space create program introduce neighbors public art domestic space reproduce gathering gallery unproductive career-move time traffic decide understanding talk continue gather package deliverable prioritize social-media audience catered membership to let go automatic toy figuring out property to become a resource school participant-led knowledge tought collective framing curatorial antagonistic antithetical transfer international context wasting time street-art negotiate authority gangster fundraising commercial funding proposal writers sustainability ecosystem art-making corporation funding non-profit exercise independent healthy foreign funding hand-out project-based logic reliable human rights environment fickle accept institution more reinterpret structures platform running radio-streaming warehouse infrastructure disappear ecosystem nurture friendship to organize to connect physically relation bonding biases trust moves building networks present transactional round-table exchange questions genius borders concepts moving openness curatorial academy setup to allow to rephrase relevant production means to think liberating practice world expert to follow distance curious to hide learning outcome rapidly complete constellation to create propositions world-views intrinsic connections no-show contemporary to represent depresentation approach failure typology unexhibition infrastructure boycott counter-move formation institution-critique failure case-study illustrative caucus assembly congregation subjectivity belief democratic inherently legacy possibilities capital culture international reject open-ended reading-groups workshops discursive site-specific meetings renowned events unfolding to inhabit things objects conversations biennale value autocratic governed reactions proactive speaking manifesto production artistic funding companies sponsor reaction campaign local activists discontinue collaboration withdraw participation divest attentive expands notion institutional-critique talking-back affiliations stop turn-of-events mandatory symbolic-capital rejection power-structures confusion passive-agressive rejection missing politicizing production silent versions participation arbitrators of taste faulty recognition story representation story-telling triennal assembly activities visible uptake events critique philosophically perform spontaneous self-organize goals unjust adress power top-down metaphorical space-of-interaction conjuring-trick institution conditions streams demonstrates means trade professional ramifications analyze simultaneously case-study vectors the possible horizon billboards presentation interpretation paradox obscure result detour mediation enslaved liberated elicit force hide within distributed slogo photograph context disagree moment of representation crucial cultural-turn culture process set of practices debate exchange giving & taking inherent affect didactic meaning fixed unchanging quotes burden of representation political speaking on behalf absence authentic representing issues managements assymmetry identified fiction substitute embodiment transparen conditions need supplement constitution emerging dilemma ethical decisions on visibility involuntary inadvertently consciously disappearing shrine treaty deface rewrite history site systemic destruction perspective narrative constellation decide messages selected process default erase acts of violence remove museum terror occupation magic trick consecrated cultivated popular double-bind example gesture of pointing blunt instrument infrastructure embedded aesthetic experience
Show and try again? Showing as non-action, as a state of being. Treating show as a process that constantly evolves as on open space that welcomes new participants and ideas. Accepting the neutral space and not treating the activities and knowledge as goods. There is no “us” and there is no “them”, there is no “inside” and there is no “outside”. We should talk more about art. Trusting the process of the show, thus trusting the pause, the gap, the anarchic dimension. Considering to not show, not try or never again. Freeing the show, emancipating it from the structures. Thinking about what to offer to the show and what to offer to try. Questioning the show and questioning what do you want to show. Finding the right addressee for the question. Showing the try is already a show. Showing the things that are not supposed to be shown. Trying to show on behalf of others, the ones who don’t have the tools to assembly. Trying to avoid the clashes of the show. Being careful not to be stuck in the loopholes of the show. Not bringing boredom to try again or to show. Being careful not to cross the line between the show and the show off. Showing the assembly, not assembling the show. Remembering and caring about the spectator who finally shapes the show. Walking with the spectator through the show. Imagining the show, as seen from non-show, assembly or try!
QUESTIONING THE AFTER-SHOW is the result of a field research - trying to capture the voices of the audience in the form of questions. It created an archive of collected questions, that have grown out of the participation in the 5 days of „Show and Try Again“. Following the approach of generating a living archive that stimulates new reflections and serves as a starting point for new discussions, this encyclopedia was translated into a game - that brings the manifold thoughts of visitors, participants, artists and initiators into motion and contact. This format uses the active, discursive qualities inherent in the nature of the questions and tries to catalogue some of the experiences of the various participants in the program. You are cordially invited to download the game and question the follow-up of the program-week in a playful way.
NON-SHOW „With every act of showing something invisible is performed as well: institutional frameworks, questions of representations,and practices of collaboration are an essential part of every moment of display. How do they relate to the process of showing?“ „Is protocol something that you also use as a term?“ „How is it possible to speak for a collective as a single person?“ „In what way are you experimenting, adopting the framework you are working in?“ „What if you pose a question and someone does not answer?“ „What if you invite someone and the person does not come?" „What if you ask about it and the person says „not my problem“?“ „Wie gehe ich ein konzeptionell geprägtes Projekt an?“ „Wie interessant kann/muss eine Non-Show aus künstlerischer Perspektive gestaltet sein, um beim Publikum Interesse herstellen zu können?“ Oder anders: Wieviel tatsächlich sichtbaren Inhalt braucht eine Non-Show,um für das Publikum ästhetisch/inhaltlich greifbar zu bleiben?“ „How can we find methods to make working in a hierarchical cultural institution more comfortable - beside money and time pressure?“ „What are the potentials of a hangout?“ „Can everyone in his or her position boycott?“ „How can one deal with the limits of translation?“ „What is my responsibility as part of an audience?“ „How can we built up conversations where people can feel comfortable and invited in?“ „How do I create a space as an audience? What role can I take on? What role do I want to take on?“ „How do we embody knowledge that we unlearn?“ „How is it possible to show the context of the how?“ „What is the nature of a canon? What does it consist of?“ „If we only change the mode of the choice, how do we come to our new canon?“ „How can one deconstruct the canon?“ „Who needs the canon?“ „What does the canon actually tell?“ „How is it possible to participate in the canon? From what angle for what purpose?“ „How is value created?“ „How is the canon constructed? What might be other constructions be available?“ „How can one rethink critique without reproducing what is criticized?“ „How can we be a bit more generously?“ „How can an individual speak for a collective?“ „Can wasting time be used as a method, as a resource, a chance?“ „Why is it not healthy to get funding?“ „If curating is a research method, what role does the artist have?" „Why should we still use the format of exhibition, when using the curatorial as research? Why not a book, instagram..?“ „How can we use artistic practice to talk about more social issues in the public?“ „How much responsibility do I have as a host for the dialog when creating a common space in a public event?“ „„Is Show & Try Again“ an exhibition or a happening?“ „How much is this title of "Show and Try Again" connected to the term of friction?“ „Is the curatorial more important as a noun or as an adjective?“ „How can all voices be heard - even the silent ones?“ „How to use bodily movement to deconstruct the power structure of a situation?“ „Is there a protocol for a hangout?“ „Can one be host and guest at the same time?“ „How can you throw a brick at a bank while you can't walk out of that bank?“ „To assembly or not to assembly?“ „To biennial or not to biennial?“ „How can we talk about the topic of language in a language we all understand? Wie können wir über das Thema Sprache sprechen, in einer Sprache, die wir alle verstehen?“ „How can we dissolve a structure in which we immediately act in a certain role and hierarchy with which we do not feel comfortable?"
How did you feel in the space?
This idea of the living room, that everyone is looking for their own place in the same way, I would say was just a hint.
The work thus contributes to self-awareness and self-questioning of all participants.
The curatorial situation provides both the time and the space for encounter between entities unfamiliar with one another.
How could we find methods to make everyone more comfortable, it is very difficult, there is always the pressure from time and money.
I often had to think about how one could have created a true nonkrong-session and how a less hierarchical dialogue could have been developed.
It would have been nice if we all had sofas. This is just a different physical position and then you speak differently.
The second thing that is also connected with this is the ambivalence between productivity and unproductivity, which is already inherent in this invitation to waste time together. And how can something like this be transferred into a format that we still perhaps call exhibition?
Was there an encounter?
“What would it take to stop?”
Is a quote by Oliver Marchart that Simon Sheikh brought in.
What would it take to stop the current situation.
The performance of a living room (some seating furniture loosely scattered around a coffee table, a flokati and some snacks) doesn’t make a hangout.
(Like one swallow doesn’t make a summer.)
Two people are bombarded by friendly, but persistently curious questions.
And I sit amongst everyone and want to ask:
Do you have any questions for us?
Only to press the stop button for a while and to give the situation a turn.
But I did not do it.
Hesitating and wondering:
Taking on responsibility? For whom?
For me? For them? For those?
Talking back on behalf of others?
Yet being relieved when Julia asks exactly that question.
Do you have any questions for us?
As if being a host is to save your quests from uncomfortable situations.
Being even more relieved when of the bombarded ones stuffs some handfuls of potato chips into his mouth (which will prevent him from speaking for some minutes) and asks: And you, what are you doing here?
“Decolonization is not my concern, it’s the concern of those who colonized.”
What would it take to stop?
30 November, 2019
How does it feel for you, to answer questions on behalf of the whole group?I had the feeling that this space was not taken.
You asked the first question during ruangrupa's hangout session. What was it?My question was something like: How does it feel for you, as representatives of a multi-headed, polyphonic collective, to answer questions on behalf of the group and speak on behalf of the collective?Was the situation open to questions? Was it welcome to ask questions?That was a moment when ruangrupa took a short breather, which created a space for questions. I had the feeling that no one noticed this space and since I found it partly unpleasant, I asked my question.That means that you primarily filled a gap that you perceived and did not just ask a question in order to obtain information?Hmm... Well, the question may be rather banal, although I have a sincere interest in ruangrupa's answer. But I could have given the question a pass or simply observed their behavior during the rest of the conversation and how they dealt with their role as representatives of the collective. Whether they flourish in it, or whether they tend to hold back. I might have been able to deduce this from silent observation.Was your question answered?Yes, I already had the feeling that this triggered another conversation, in the course of which it somehow came out how they felt about being here. They said something about trust and that anybody could do that and it's about availability and stuff. So yes, it's been answered.Do you think that you changed the course of what followed? Did an opening or change in the structure has taken place through your initiative?I wouldn't necessarily say that. Of course, I would be happy if this is the case.