Massaging the Asylum System – A Lumbung Collaboration Between Trampoline House and Project Art Works

Clientdocumenta fifteen
DateMay-September 2022
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Curated by Trampoline House Artistic Team members Carlota Mir and Sara Alberani, Massaging the Asylum System is a collaboration between two collectives and Lumbung members* at documenta fifteen: Copenhagen-based refugee justice centre Trampoline House and UK-based neurodiverse collective Project Art Works.

Massaging the Asylum System is a joint exploration of the relationship between people’s rights as they seek asylum and try to rebuild their lives in Denmark, and how different systems, from the State to Danish society, may or may not respect those rights. Supported by preliminary work and visits, informal talks, public speaking, collective research within the Lumbung community, and the forging of relationships, the collaboration came to fruition with two public workshop series: one in Copenhagen, where we invited Project Art Works to pick apart the asylum system in Denmark together with the Trampoline House community, and one in Kassel, where we took these learnings from the House and then gathered in our respective exhibition spaces, inviting documenta audiences, to re-imagine asylum together. Intersecting two very different, yet touching realities, our work became a temporary coalition of dissident bodies.

Initiated by Mir and Alberani, the collaboration was funded with money from the Lumbung collective pot* after approval from all Lumbung members. The group made decisions on collective projects to be funded according to shared lumbung values: projects should be experimental, locally anchored, regenerative and be driven by generosity, sufficiency, humour, independence, and transparency. They should also bring additional value to the Lumbung network. Related to the overarching concept of Lumbung*, the collective pot was a collectively governed economic resource that worked as a way to speculate artistically on how to build and maintain such a common structure over time. Lumbung is both a community and an infrastructure of resources that sustains artistic projects ‘rooted in life’, an approach that subverts the traditional logic of artificially producing works for a biennial.

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