• The Living Room: collective arts laboratory
  • The Living Room: collective arts laboratory

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Hosted by ruangrupa’s Reza Afisina, The Living Room is a dialogue-driven platform enabling the introduction, interaction and exchange between collectives and audiences. 

The Living Room is framed as a gesture to accompany public spaces and “meeting points” for various communities, and to gain familiarity with processes of learning, evaluating as well as critique in today’s society. 

The session begins with a presentation by Reza Afisina about “collectivism” as practice and methodology, drawing from ruangrupa’s ongoing trajectory.  Operating within the format of a laboratory where ruangrupa aims to connect different practices, disciplines, expertises and actors, Reza will recall the experience of ruruHaus in Kassel for documenta fifteen:  people staying together, sharing their knowledge, reactions, visions, and more. On behalf of ruangrupa, he will share the collective’s model of RSVP (research, score, value and perform) as a method of sharing, distribution of knowledge and exchange of experiences.

The Living Room will then dedicate time to a handful of UAE-based collectives to self-introduce their work, their materials and their urgencies. The Living Room will also enable casual conversation accompanied by refreshments and research materials.

The Living Room is organized by Art Jameel, NYU Abu Dhabi MFA in Art and Media and Goethe-Institut Gulf Region as well as curated and moderated by Daniel H. Rey (Art Jameel) and Katia Arfara (NYU Abu Dhabi).

ruangrupa – est. 2000

ruangrupa (always written in lowercase and without spaces) is a contemporary art organization and artists’ collective, founded in 2000 by a group of artists in Jakarta. As a non-profit organization, ruangrupa is active in promoting the advancement of art ideas in the urban context and the broad scope of culture through exhibitions, festivals, art laboratories, workshops, research, and publishing books, magazines and online journals. In its development, ruangrupa evolved into a collective of contemporary art and ecosystem studies with two other organizations that present public learning spaces that carry the values ​​of equality, sharing, solidarity, friendship and togetherness. 

Since 2015, together with the ecosystem of collective studies of contemporary art, ruangrupa formed, together with three art collectives in Jakarta, an initiative called GudSkul, also part of ruangrupa’s Arts Laboratory for the collective study of art. ruangrupa Arts Laboratory (ArtLab) is a division that focuses on giving a space for research and creative / artistic collaboration to individual artists or groups, and people from other disciplines and backgrounds, to work together through specific research and collaboration involving artists from Indonesia and abroad. ruangrupa has been the latest curatorial voice behind documenta, whose 15th edition took place in 2022 in Kassel, Germany.

Reza Afisina, b. 1977, Indonesia.

As an individual artist and collectively together with ruangrupa, Reza Afisina has been involved in various national and international exhibitions and workshops. With ruangrupa as an artists’ collective platform, he has also participated in the 2002 and 2018 editions of the Gwangju Biennale, Istanbul Biennale 2005, Singapore Biennale 2011, Asia Pacific Triennial in Brisbane – Australia 2012, Sao Paulo Biennale 2014, Cosmopolis #1 Centre Pompidou in Paris – France 2017, and co-curated TRANSaction: Sonsbeek International 2016 in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Reza has recently practiced within ruangrupa’s artistic direction for documenta fifteen in Kassel – Germany.