Cushion Commons

Valentina Karga & HFBK Students

With Cushion Commons, a group of students from Hamburg led by artist Valentina Karga transform Lancaster Room into a space for calm, personal encounters and careful experimentation – soft infrastructure for the festival’s programme of live events.

The installation consists of large soft elements that enable sitting comfortably on the floor for flexible gathering setups. In their forms, some of them more rock-like, other more animal-like, bringing something from the natural world indoors. These “beings” support the bodies of the visitors as they convene to discuss, watch, play or rest. They are made of cotton and natural dyes, because when the installation is not of service any longer, its materials can be composted, for the love of the life cycle. They are filled in with borrowed local materials. When the elements are not filled, they can be folded, thus becoming easy to travel with, reducing costs and environmental impact. In every new iteration, elements are added, removed or reshaped, to accommodate the particular spatial and program needs. On the brink of climate collapse, we are testing alternative ways of designing and producing installations.

The installation was initially designed for the student forum at documenta fifteen in Kassel. It has also been presented at the “non-knowledge festival” at Harburger Bahnhof in Hamburg.

Designed and created by: Benjamin Bakhshi, Luna Becker, Mia Bernecker, Lasse Bork, Elena Böttrich, Alex Bruk, Eythar Gubara, Luisa Höfer, Paulina Kindler, Heesu Kwon, Amira Mostafa, Yelyzaveta Musiienko, Kaddy Saho, Anna Stapelfeldt, Mouna Weitz, Peng Zchei, Inga Zhaivoronska, Jiemin Zhao, Cathrin Rebecca Zumhasch (Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg)