Win-Win Lottery-talk at Ruruhaus / documenta fifteen

Win-Win Lottery – The practice of drawing lots as a selection procedure and space for opportunity
Ruruhaus / documenta fifteen
Hannes Egger (artist), Dan Perjovschi (artist), Farid Rakun (curator – Ruangrupa Jakarta), Thomas Sterna (artist) and Judith Waldmann (curator)

The practice of drawing lots as a selection procedure and space for opportunity

Discussion round featuring Hannes Egger, Dan Perjovschi, Farid Rakun (ruangrupa), Thomas Sterna and Judith Waldmann

From 18 June to 25 September 2022, artists Hannes Egger and Thomas Sterna have rented an exhibition space at KulturBahnhof Kassel and given other artists a chance to win a one-week presentation slot during documenta fifteen. Leaving the decision up to chance rather than a panel of experts, any artist, curator or exhibition organiser interested could enter the prize draw by simply purchasing a raffle ticket. The 13 winners, selected in a total of four draws, were then free to show their works without any requirements regarding content and/or aesthetic input. But not all winners decided to exhibit their own works: Some organised group exhibitions, others gave their slot away. The results varied greatly and were surprising, often breaking with conventional notions of art and standards of evaluation.

At 6 pm on Saturday 17th of September a discussion round were hold at the Documenta ruruHaus. The focus was on the experiences with this aleatory art project, but above all on raffles as a selection tool and an instrument that expands the existing artistic cosmos. 

Drawing lots has long been a key part of democratic decision-making: In Ancient Greece, for instance, sortition was used to allocate political offices in Athens, and the practice of casting lots is mentioned several times in the Old Testament. In our debate, we aim to explore whether this method, which is currently undergoing a revival that permeates the discussion around forms of democratic participation, can also be applied in the context of art. Against that backdrop, the Win-Win Lottery serves as an experimental space in which to test and discuss this selection procedure.