ANN: (Beautiful) Mess: Collective Studies from ruangrupa, Gudskul, and Beyond (The Cambridge Modern & Contemporary Art Seminar; online, 7 Feb 2022)

Please join us for a talk with ruangrupa, the Jakarta-based curatorial collective in charge of the Artistic Direction for the upcoming documenta fifteen (Kassel, Germany, 18 June-25 September 2022) and Gudskul, the informal educational platform in Jakarta. During this session we will learn about the founding of ruangrupa, the current Gudskul initiative they established with Serrum and Grafis Huru Hara in 2018, and we will hear voices from participating collectives in their Collective Study program this year. This polyphonic session could be seen as a snapshot of the daily exchanges happening between these collectives in Jakarta.

ruangrupa (spelled and written with a lowercase ‘r’) was founded in Jakarta in 2000 by a group of artists. the founders felt that there was a great necessity for “space” (physically and mentally) in Jakarta, where artists could work intensively and could direct their attention more to means of analysis and less to means of production. A space that conveyed the ideas of visual art – which are important to analyse, mediate, and furnish – like public art, performance art, and video art. The founders felt that this was the only way in which visual art could possess a critical sensibility, which is the most important position of art in society.

As a non-profit organization, ruangrupa consistently advances artistic ideas in both an urban context and within culture at large through exhibitions, festivals, art laboratories, workshops, research, and by publishing books, magazines and online journals.

Gudskul: Collective and Contemporary Art Ecosystem Studies is an educational platform formed by three Jakarta-based collectives: ruangrupa, Serrum and Grafis Huru Hara. Since the early 2000s, they have been respectively doing collective practice in the contemporary art scene. In 2015, we joined forces to form a common ecosystem, Gudang Sarinah Ekosistem. Learning from this working experience, in 2018 Gudskul outlines a knowledge-sharing platform for everyone interested in the practice of similar approaches.

Gudskul sincerely believe in sharing and working together as two of very vital elements in developing Indonesian contemporary art and culture. They intends to disseminate initiative spirit in artistic and cultural endeavors in a society committed to collectivism. Gudskul aspires to promote initiators who put local needs as their highest consideration, while at the same time contribute and hold crucial roles internationally. Gudskul is inviting anyone who are interested in co-learning, developing collective-based artistic practice and art-making with focus on collaboration.
For more info:

The MaCA Seminar meets every other week during full term, hosting a range of speakers including scholars, artists and curators. For the academic year 2021/22 the open meetings will take place remotely via zoom and at the History of Art Department when possible. A Zoom link will be circulated via email to those who register.

Register at:

Convenors of the Cambridge Modern and Contemporary Art Seminar Series 2021/22 are Prof Alyce Mahon ( and Dr Sofia Gotti (