Curatorial Programme
Curatorial Programme

Values & Evolution of the Curatorial Programme

Over the past 27 years, de Appel’s CP has evolved to embrace values that set it apart from other curatorial learning initiatives worldwide. We prioritize full integration within de Appel’s distinctive three-part institutional structure (Archive, Curatorial Programme, Education Initiatives), which means hands-on experience and real-life stakes -- not to mention bursts of pure pleasure. Each participant gains access to a strong network of diverse, visionary and agile practitioners (our alumni and advisors). We choose people who imagine new ways of making exhibitions, nurturing communities and building institutions. When given the chance to shape de Appel’s public offerings, participants gain an opportunity to cooperate and find ways to learn from each other as much as from the advisors and mentors they meet along the way. The responsibility for determining an entire season of de Appel’s programming is a unique chance to consider how (art) history is made, mediated and archived.

Lumbung Practice: An Educational Programme for Collectives organised by de Appel, Sandberg Instituut, and Gudskul

The 30th special edition broadens the scope through collaboration with Sandberg and Gudskul. A rich curriculum will be followed, intended to provide direct insight into cosmologies of collective practices, the shaping of lumbung in documenta fifteen, and the work of artists, as well as the building of locally anchored institutions, collectives and communities. It will give the participating collectives tools for collaborative curating and building alternative institutions together with their ecosystems and communities.

The 2024 CP will unfold through a series of workshops, sessions and collective work, which are punctuated by intensive site visits and research. While de Appel’s CP is known for formative international travel, we are compelled to rethink this model post the COVID-19 pandemic, in light of the environmental crisis, and amid concerns about cultural extractionism. The participants will instead travel to each other’s localities, to the localities of the participants of the Sandberg Institute programme and to Gudskul in Jakarta. They will spend longer periods of time learning about each other’s practices and concerns and forming lasting relationships.

Throughout the 2024-2025 period, participants will gain full access to de Appel’s distinctive three-part institutional structure comprised of our open, lively Archive; our free-thinking, hands-on Curatorial Programme; and our community-oriented Education Initiatives—all of which contribute to the learning ethos in our programming. Through collective study and shared responsibility they will shape the very DNA of our experimental institution. They will also join seminars and gatherings at Sandberg Institute and online with Gudskul, Jakarta. They will form working groups together and develop long term projects. At the end of the first year, they will collectively curate a project that furthers their research and practice. In 2025-2026 the collectives will meet more sporadically, online from their own localities, where they focus on realising their planned projects. In June 2026, they will collectively organise a harvest festival: a summation of their learning processes and provisions for the future, which could take the shape of exhibitions, public programmes, or performances to which their ecosystems are invited.

Lumbung is a rural pre-colonial practice (and architecture) where the village stores the surplus of the harvest for the future wellbeing of the community. It is where the surplus is collectively governed and celebrated. During documenta fifteen (2023)—a large scale exhibition which takes place in Kassel, Germany, every five years since 1961—artist collective ruangrupa, which was responsible for co-curating documenta fifteen, introduced and practised lumbung along with other artistic and social collective practices. After documenta 15, lumbung has come to mean: a collective of collectives, a set of self organised practices of the commons worldwide, a social discourse about art that stems from inter-local heritage, and an aesthetic quality.

The Curatorial Programme at de Appel has been a space for curatorial innovation and experimentation since its inception. It has remained current and relevant throughout the decades by advancing cutting edge curatorial practice.

At a time when ethical concerns about sustainability and inclusion are raised, the persona of the jetlagged star curator is being called into question. In addition, the close collaboration with artists and the power dynamics between curators and artists have been much debated in art and academic institutions. In the forthcoming edition of the programme, curators will work more closely with artists; they will learn together how to share resources, processes and decision making. The focus will be geared towards establishing lasting relationships between the (curatorial and artist) collectives and planning for their sustainability.


The call for applications is directed at both curatorial collectives and artist collectives with curatorial practices, who can apply as collectives to the programme.

The participants will be artist and curatorial collectives whose practice is embedded in socio-political movements, and whose art and curatorial practice is an extension of their communal lives.

The Curatorial Programme usually accepts 4-6 individual participants; this will remain the same, in view of the facilities and workforce available at de Appel. As such, we will select one or two collectives to take part in the programme. These collectives will work closely with the artist collectives taking part in the Sandberg Institute’s Temporary Programme - Lumbung Practice, and the participants of Gudskul’s Collective Study Programme.

de Appel’s Curatorial Programme is supported by the Stichting Hartwig Foundation.