Seating Environment: Valentina Karga & Students from HFBK, Cushion commons

Cushion commons at Documentafifteen, 2022, photo: Valentina Karga

Cushion commons at Documentafifteen, 2022, photo: Valentina Karga

Cushion commons

The installation consists of large soft elements that serve sitting comfortably on the floor for flexible gathering setups. In their forms, some of them more rock-like, other more animal-like, they bring something from the natural world in indoors anthropogenic spaces. These “beings” support the bodies of the visitors as they convene to discuss, watch, play or rest. In their materiality, they are made our of cotton and natural dyes; once the installation is not of service any longer, its materials can be composted, in support of the life cycle. They are filled in with available local material, which is only borrowed, therefore leaving no waste behind each use. The installation initially served the student forum at documenta fifteen and has been influenced by the theme of documenta fifteen “lumbung”, meaning, among others, communal resource. In every new iteration, elements can be added, removed or reshaped, to accommodate the particular spatial and program needs. When the elements are not stuffed, they can be folded, becoming thus easy to travel with, reducing costs and environmental impact.

This iteration will include a special contribution by Luna Becker of elements made out of broken bicycle rubber tubes.

Designed and created by: Anna Stapelfeldt, Benjamin Bakhshi, Peng Zchei, Luna Becker, Cathrin Rebecca Zumhasch, Amira Mostafa, Eythar Gubara, Kaddy Saho, Elena Böttrich, Jacopo Asam and Prof. Valentina Karga (Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg-HfBK)

Valentina Karga. Photo by Spyros Rennt //

Valentina Karga an artist and architect. Her work operates between art, design, research and architecture. It draws together elements of socially engaged practices and speculative experiments that question the existing social and physical infrastructures within the realms of energy, economy and sustainability. Her work has been exhibited internationally. Since 2018 she is a professor at Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK), Hamburg.