Made in Commons: Exhibition and Other Activities

(Biography of Authenticity: The Artist Signature, Wok The Rock, 2013)

in Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam
November 30, 2013, through January 26, 2014

Artists in the exhibition
Irwan Ahmett & Tita Salina, Maja Bekan, Zhana Ivanova, Jatiwangi Art Factory, Maryanto, Papermoon Puppet Theater, Read-in (Hyunju Chung, Annette Krauss, Serena Lee, Laura Pardo), Dušan Rodić, Vincent Vulsma, and Wok the Rock

Made in Commons is a collaborative project of KUNCI Cultural Studies Center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Ten artists and artist groups based in the Netherlands and Indonesia take part in this multimedia exhibition. Made in Commons is the first of four presentations at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA) in partnership with art institutions from non- Western countries. The series is part of the three-year Global Collaborations program of the Stedelijk Museum.

Made in Commons takes as its inspiration the notion of “commons” and its relation to contemporary art. In recent decades, contemporary art practice has reacted to the new wave of privatization and ownership. In response to economic decline, many of today’s artists are motivated by the concept of commons to identify relevance for the arts beyond market value.

“The central concept of commons draws together desires for shared access and distribution of resources as an alternative to the mainstream market paradigm. Engagement with these desires and their side effects is a shared characteristic of the works presented in the framework of Made in Commons,” said KUNCI’s director Ferdiansyah Thajib and project curator Kerstin Winking in a joint statement about the exhibition.

None of the works claims direct engagement with commons discourse per se, but all of them address issues that are central to it: collaboration, the sharing of resources, labor, ownership, authorship, (artistic) control, open participation, knowledge-sharing, power hierarchies, and decentralization.

The works exhibited in Made in Commons are united in their drive to encourage participation and, in some cases, are literally a call to action. For example, in advance of the exhibition, Wok the Rock distributed 100 certificates that made their bearers co-authors of his work. The certificates will be displayed at SMBA and returned to their owners afterward. Collaboration is scrutinized from a critical perspective in Vincent Vulsma’s installation, which shows how the universal human need for sleep is linked to the partnerships between different businesses in the Netherlands and Indonesia.

Combining a broad range of works, Made in Commons sheds light on art as a collaborative or shared practice. At the same time, it makes clear that collaboration is a complex endeavor, especially when geographically dispersed people—who are connected through an eventful history—are involved.

The exhibition at SMBA is accompanied by a publication that expands on the project’s artistic departure points. Indonesian anthropologist Nuraini Juliastuti contributes an essay examining how the concept of commons plays a vital role in Indonesian art practice.

Made in Commons continues in Yogyakarta in mid-2014, with a program of exhibitions, performances, lectures, and other events.

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA)
Rozenstraat 59, Amsterdam
Wednesday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Free entrance

Made in Commons Symposium
What Do We Have in Common(s)?
Sunday, 1st December  2013,  10.00-17.00 hours
Location: Teijin Auditorium, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Speakers: John Roberts, Nuraini Juliastuti and Reinaart Vanhoe, Marysia Lewandowska.

Organized in collaboration with Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht

Entrance: ticket to the Stedelijk Museum
Reservations: it is necessary to make a reservation. Send an e-mail to [email protected], stating your full name, e-mail address, telephone number, and the date of the program you want to attend.

The notion of “commons” has suffered from an inflationary application, particularly in the area of network theory, according to one of the symposium contributors, art historian John Roberts. The symposium is an occasion to investigate this view further, while at the same time looking into the concrete practice of “commoning” within the field of art and art institutional practices. The latter includes the Indonesian notion of Bersama-sama that refers to having a shared goal or aspirations or the space or group for them, to be introduced by director of KUNCI and cultural theorist Nuraini Juliastuti in collaboration with Rotterdam-based artist Reinaart Vanhoe. Marysia Lewandowska guides us through the invisible areas of operation in the Stedelijk Museum where private interests might collide with the museum’s public functions thereby asking: “How can an event like the What do we have in common(s) symposium distribute the authority of the museum and empower its audience to create a sense of common wealth and contribution to a shared knowledge?”

Symposium Programme
10.15 ‘Welcome and introduction to Made in Commons’ by Syafiatudina (KUNCI) and Kerstin Winking (SMBA)
10.30 ‘Neo-liberalism, Monopolisation and the Fate of the Commons’, a lecture by John Roberts
11.45 ‘Sanggar as a model for practising art in communal life’, a presentation by Nuraini Juliastuti in collaboration with Reinaart Vanhoe
13.00 Lunch break
14.00 Introducing Marysia Lewandowska and the commons by Sanne Oorthuizen (Casco)
14.15 ‘Making Museums Commons’, a performative presentation by Marysia Lewandowska
16.30 Common debate with the contributors
17.00 Drinks

Satellite Events:

Publishing in Process. Ownership in Question
Saturday, 30th November  2013
A workshop by Marysia Lewandowska and Laurel Ptak
Location: Casco – Office for Art, Design & Theory, Utrecht


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

5:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Artist Presentations by Wok the Rock, Tita Salina & Irwan Ahmet, Papermoon Puppet Theater
Location: Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

5:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Guided Tour by Syafiatudina & Kerstin Winking
Presentation by Vincent Vulsma, Dušan Rodic
Location: Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam


Thursday, 16 January 2014

Performance Maja Bekan
Location: Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam


Sunday 19 – Wednesday 22 January 2014

Regimes of Memorizing
A workshop by Read-in
Location: Casco – Office for Art, Design & Theory, Nieuwekade 213-215, Utrecht


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Regimes of Memorizing
A performance by Read-in
Location: t.b.a.

Regular updates, background information on the exhibition, the participating artists, the symposium and the events, can be found in the Stedelijk Museum Online Journal: collaborations/

About Global Collaborations
Global Collaborations is a three-year project that aims to generate an informed and well- balanced overview of developments in contemporary art from a global perspective. It is based on collaborative partnerships with experimental and multifaceted art institutions throughout the world and encompasses exhibitions, publications, events, and an online platform. The program takes place at the Stedelijk Museum and at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA), the project space of the Stedelijk. Global Collaborations continues until the end of 2015 and was initiated by Jelle Bouwhuis, head of SMBA, and project curator Kerstin Winking.

Global Collaborations/ Made in Commons is generously supported by principal benefactors Stichting Ammodo and the Mondriaan Fund and additional support from The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Prins Claus Fund and Arts Collaboratory.