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Arts

Indonesian collective breaks fresh ground in Europe

Ruangrupa is first Asian artistic director of Germany's Documenta Fifteen event

Works by Cinema Caravan and Takashi Kuribayashi are grouped around an open-air cinema with a bar and a functioning herbal steam sauna in the shape of the quake-hit nuclear reactor in Fukushima, Japan. (Photo by Nathalie Johnston)

KASSEL, Germany -- Documenta, founded in 1955 in Germany as an art festival celebrating 20th-century Western art, has transformed in recent decades into an influential, five-yearly international art event. This year the 15th edition of the festival is breaking new ground by embracing artistic direction from Asia for the first time.

Ruangrupa, an Indonesia-based collective of artists, creative professionals, activists and friends founded in 2000, is the first group to be appointed artistic director of the Kassel-based event, and only the second from outside Europe, following the Nigerian curator Okui Enwezor (1963-19) in 2002.

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