For the “THE REPATRIATION OF THE WHITE CUBE” website, please visit LIRCAEI.ART

The White Cube has been repatriated

On April 21–22, a quintessential White Cube has been repatriated on the site of Unilever’s first ever plantation of the D.R. Congo, in Lusanga, 650 km southeast of Kinshasa.

Designed by OMA, this White Cube is the cornerstone of the of the Lusanga International Research Centre for Art and Economic Inequality (LIRCAEI).

For decades, monoculture has been violently imposed in the plantations zones by distant shareholders. The immense wealth generated by this exploitative system has been partially invested in art institutions devoted to critique, taste and aesthetics.

With the establishment of LIRCAEI, the mechanisms through which plantations underwrite the art world will be reversed. In Lusanga the White Cube will attract the capital and visibility needed to invent a new ecological and economic model on site: the post-plantation.

THE REPATRIATION

On the weekend of April 21st to 23rd, CATPC and IHA have organised a festive and solemn event, dubbed “The Repatriation of the White Cube”, celebrating the launch of their joint five-year research research programme on the invention of the “post-plantation”.

See the pictures of the event in our Gallery.

Participants included: Suhail Malik (Co-Director of the MFA in Fine Art, Goldsmiths University, London), Clémentine Deliss, (independent curator, cultural historian, and former director of Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt), Azu Nwagbogu (founder and director of Lagos Photo Festival and of the African Artists’ Foundation), and René Ngongo (CATPC president, founding director of Greenpeace Congo, and 2009 recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, generally considered as the alternative Nobel Prize) and Serbundo (an Indonesian plantation workers union)

The opening weekend of LIRCAEI was organised in partnership with the Ministry of Arts and Culture of the Democratic Republic of Congo, KASK – Ghent School of Arts, and OMA. It was made possible through the generous support of the Gieskes Strijbis Foundation, Stichting Educatie en Cultuur, Bralima and the Prins Claus Fund.

EXHIBITION

CATPC has curated the inaugural exhibition of the White Cube. The exhibition presented the artworks in a network of Kisendus – traditional huts, especially built for the show, dedicated to arts and social events – linked to the White Cube.

CATPC’s newest works were shown alongside contributions by other prominent Congolese and international artists. Different pieces referred to the D.R. Congo’s rich history but had until now never been exhibited in the Congo, like Luc Tuymans’ prints featuring Patrice Lumumba and the Belgian King Baudouin who were first shown in the Belgian Pavilion at the 2001 Venice Biennial.

Participating artists included: Kader Attia, Sammy Baloji, Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo, Marlene Dumas, Michel Ekeba, Eléonore Hellio, Carsten Höller, Irène Kanga, Mathieu Kasiama, Jean Katambayi, Jean Kawata, Mbuku Kimpala, Thomas Leba, Jérémie Mabiala, Daniel Manenga, Mega Mingiedi, Eméry Mohamba, Cédrick Tamasala, Pathy Thsindele and Luc Tuymans.