Press Release: SONSBEEK ’16: transACTION


4 June -18 September in Arnhem

Curator: ruangrupa

Arnhem, 22 February 2016

SONSBEEK is back! The eleventh edition of the contemporary art exhibition will take place from 4 June to 18 September 2016 in Sonsbeek Park, Museum Arnhem, and in various other locations in the city of Arnhem. SONSBEEK ’16, entitled transACTION, is curated by the Indonesian collective ruangrupa, known for its innovative approaches that are rooted in fostering connections and relationships in urban settings. The participating artists, which include more than 40 leading names from 20 countries, will be announced in earlyMarch, and a new website will be launched:

Invitation to the city’s residents and the public

ruangrupa reflects on topical social issues in the context of Arnhem to reveal things

about the city and its residents. In Sonsbeek Park, traditionally the heart of the

exhibition, residents and visitors are invited to complete the sculptural works through

actively experiencing and participating in activities, workshops, lectures, and

performances programmed for the duration of SONSBEEK ’16.

An impulse to public space

To give an impulse to and experiment with the city’s public space, thereby

underlining ruangrupa’s main curiosity and interests, several prominent locations in

the centre of Arnhem have been selected as sites for murals, multi-media

installations and interventions.


Museum Arnhem will be a space for contemplation during SONSBEEK ’16. A group

exhibition of works by ten international artists, entitled transHISTORY, offers an

alternative to the official, top-down history. This is where personal histories,

specifically those relating to the history of colonisation in its widest sense, are told.

The works in the museum demonstrate that history is not static but constantly in flux,

and that it is part and parcel of everyday life and current events.

Showcasing the city’s cultural partners

To further engage the city, works are also exhibited in several other institutions in

Arnhem such as Museum Bronbeek and Koninklijke Burgers’ Zoo, and there are

close collaborations with ArtEZ Academy of Art and Design as well as with local

initiatives such as Focus Filmtheater, Locatie Spatie, Generale Oost and Code Rood.

Arnhem’s open house

ruangrupa already took up residence in Arnhem in July 2015 by opening the ruru

huis, an open space and meeting place at 43 Looierstraat that plays a vital role in

their curatorial method and practice. The house is opened for weekly activities,

organised by ruangrupa, local initiatives and participating artists. A research group –

the ruru buitendienst (‘field organisation’) – which explores the notion of ‘public

space’ in Arnhem with fieldwork and artistic interventions, also operates within the

huis as a publication wing.


ruangrupa consists of about 40 artists, curators, architects, writers and historians.

ruangrupa is fascinated by, and actively engaged in the issue of the common right to

the city. It is known for its long-term research projects into (large) urban

developments in which a relationship is established between public space,

people/the public and an expanded understanding of art. This has led to unique

observation methods and approaches to implementation that ruangrupa has realised

through artistic events in, among other places, Jakarta, Istanbul, Sydney and Sao



From its very first edition SONSBEEK has continued to flex the boundaries of

international contemporary art. With its leading editions held between 1949 and

2008, SONSBEEK has constantly played a pioneering role through its novel

presentations of art in public space. In collaboration with the curatorial collective

ruangrupa, SONSBEEK once again brings art to the public in 2016.

Note for editors:

For information, interview requests and high-res image material, please contact:

Melanie Hulsebosch

marketing & communication


t: 026 3031940

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