April 26, 2021 - documenta - documenta fifteen
April 26, 2021


Excerpts from Sourabh Phadke's booklet How to Make Chappals: Multivitamin Supplement for Soleful Peeps, 2018.

documenta fifteen
“lumbung calling” on Humor
May 1, 2021, 2:30pm

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The seven-part conversation series “lumbung calling” launches documenta fifteen’s public program, activated under the title “Meydan.” Each edition of the series is dedicated to one of the lumbung values: Local Anchor, Humor, Generosity, Independence, Transparency, Sufficiency, and Regeneration. The format dives deeper into the background of the artistic concept for documenta fifteen and illuminates the idea of lumbung from many different angles. Through conversations with a variety of guests, lumbung calling” will explore the rich meaning of lumbung across multiple disciplines, points of view, and contexts within an artistic framing. The invited protagonists have faced major challenges and initiated breakthroughs on various scales and include academics, cultural activists, independent researchers, organic farmers, fishermen, and festival organizers, among others.

Second edition of “lumbung calling: Humor”
The second “lumbung calling” on May 1, 2021, focuses on the value of humor. Often taken for granted, and therefore overlooked, humor is inherently strategic. It can even be turned into a method, a mechanism, a lifeline to survival—whether as a self-defense tool or a powerful weapon. Humor allows us to laugh; it also allows us to release tension and make our lives bearable. It enables us to forget, albeit for a fleeting moment, so we can move on, live on. It helps us to render the hopeless hopeful. Perhaps humor is an element that makes us different from automatons and machines?

Humor, while risky and far from innocent, is able to connect what at first glance appears to be on opposite ends of the spectrum. Humor can connect the dots, disregarding our individual self-centered existence in favor of collective, shared, and intertwined dynamics. Although humor is often extremely cultural and time specific, its roots lie at the base of our social attitudes.

It is always possible to develop a sense of humor, and, if effortlessly practiced, it can reach the highest peaks. A life based on lumbung places humor high on its list of values, to be discussed and, most importantly, practiced purposefully. In this edition, guests Gridthiya Gaweewong and Sourabh Phadke will share what humor represents to them and how they incorporate it into their social lives and artistic practices. By joining them, we can hopefully share a laugh or two together.

“lumbung calling” takes place on the first Saturday of every month over seven sessions, from April to October 2021. It is hosted by the artist Jumana Emil Abboud and ruangrupa member Mirwan Andan. The first conversation focused on the lumbung value Local Anchor and took place on April 3, 2021, with professor Melani Budianta and organic farmer Armin Salassa.

“lumbung calling” can be viewed digitally through documenta fifteen’s social media channels Facebook and YouTube. It will be held in English and translated into International Sign Language. Recordings of individual events will subsequently be available on documenta fifteen’s website and YouTube, supplemented by German and English subtitles.

Guests and hosts
Gridthiya Gaweewong
 cofounded the Bangkok-based independent art organization Project 304 in 1996. Gaweewong lives and works in Chiang Mai and Bangkok and is Artistic Director of the Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok. She co-curated Politics of Fun, an exhibition of artists from Southeast Asia, with Ong Keng Sen at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2005). Gaweewong was part of the curatorial team for Imagined Borders, the 12th Gwangju Biennale (2018). She is currently preparing an exhibition entitled Errata, Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories at MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai, initiated by the Goethe-Institut Jakarta in partnership with Singapore Art Museum, National Gallery, Jakarta, and Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2021–22).

Sourabh Phadke is a mason and architect from India, designing and building with earth and allied traditional materials, and a schoolteacher, teaching science and social studies to children. He works with communities on aspects of building crafts, sustainable sanitation, appropriate technologies, and design. Phadke is an editor of illustrated booklets, such as Make your own: Encaustic Tiles and How to Make Chappals. Multivitamin Supplement for Soleful Peeps, in which he humorously addresses everyday situations.

Jumana Emil Abboud’s creative interests lie in oral histories, personal and collective stories, and mythologies, particularly folk tales and their sites of being and unbeing. Abboud uses storytelling, performative elements, and workshop methodologies in her artistic practice to investigate our relationship to time and place, to the human and non-human, exploring tools of memory, attachment, and dispossession amid the challenge for continuity within political, ecological, and cultural struggles. Her work has been shown at The Jerusalem Show (2018); the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2016); the Sharjah Biennale (2017); the Venice Biennale (2015); and the Istanbul Biennale (2009), among many others. She has participated in art residencies, including at Sakiya – Art/Science/Agriculture, Ramallah, Palestine; the Delfina Foundation, London; Arts Initiative Tokyo; and Gästeatelier Krone, Aarau, Switzerland. Abboud is currently pursuing a practice-led PhD at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London.

Mirwan Andan is a member of ruangrupa, and providing artistic direction for documenta fifteen.

Undine Schäfer is a sign language interpreter from Göttingen.

“lumbung calling: Humor”
Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 2:30pm (CET), 3:30pm (IDT), 7:30pm (WIB)
With Gridthiya Gaweewong and Sourabh Phadke
Hosted by Jumana Emil Abboud and Mirwan Andan
In English with translation into International Sign Language
Livestream via Facebook and YouTube

Further editions
“lumbung calling: Generosity,” Saturday, June 5, 2021
“lumbung calling: Independence,” Saturday, July 3, 2021
“lumbung calling: Transparency,” Saturday, August 7, 2021
“lumbung calling: Sufficiency,” Saturday, September 4, 2021
“lumbung calling: Regeneration,” Saturday, October 2, 2021

Previous edition
lumbung calling: Local Anchor,” Saturday, April 3, 2021

Press contact
Karoline Köber
Acting Head of Communications and Marketing
documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH
T +49 561 70727 4023 / presse [​at​] documenta.de

documenta fifteen is funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) and the Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media).

The lumbung network is supported by the Goethe-Institut.

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