Into the Great Wide Open
31 August – 3 September 2023
Several works by CATPC and Renzo Martens will be on view as part of Into the Great Wide Open’s festival art program.
The installation Why Plantations Matter will be spread out over the forest of Vlieland and in the Tromp’s Huys museum. In the forest, you will find Athanas Kindendie / CATPC’s Plantation Monoculture – a sculpture which criticizes the monoculture of palm plantations that took a century-long grip on the land and completely depleted it – and the Balot NFT. In the museum, the series Plantations and Museums will be on view.
There will also be an artist talk with Renzo Martens on the 1st of September, from 10.30 onwards, and two screenings of White Cube on the 2nd of September, 16:00-17:20, and the 3rd, 12:00-13:20.
Find out more on here.
This program came about in collaboration with CATPC and Human Activities, as part of the White Cube program in the Netherlands. The program aims to decolonize not only the art world, but also the plantations that funded the art world. The program is supported by the Mondriaan Fund.
Current Vacancies at Human Activities
1 September 2023
We are looking for:
CATPC and Renzo Martens Dutch Entry Venice Biennale 2024
17 April 2023
Image, from left to right: Ced’art Tamasala (CATPC), Matthieu Kasiama (CATPC), Renzo Martens, Hicham Khalidi, Mbuku Kimpala (CATPC). Photo: Koos Breukel, 2023
Renzo Martens, Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC) and curator Hicham Khalidi will be providing the Dutch entry for the Venice Biennale 2024. The joint plan will be open to the public from 20 April 2024 at the Rietveld Pavilion in Venice and simultaneously at the White Cube in Lusanga, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This Dutch entry will therefore consist of two presentations that are directly mirrored and connected.
For the first time in the history of the Venice Biennale and of the Rietveld Pavilion, a community that lives and works on one of the plantations that funded and continues to fund the art world, will represent itself.
“Our contribution to collective memory, by way of an exhibition in the Dutch pavilion exhibition will be a wonderful opportunity to restitute to humanity the fruits of our research in the history of white cubes, which are intimately and often shamefully linked to the plantations, something of which nobody speaks.
Meaningful and sincere reflections will be produced from these realities – plantations and art institutions – coming together. Questions of care, repair, healing, and restitution become unavoidable, as no white cube can claim to decolonize as long as the communities on the plantations are not also able to decolonize themselves.”
– Ced’art Tamasala, on behalf of CATPC
View the announcement of the Mondriaan Fund here. More information will follow soon.
Talk “Makers of New Value” at De Nederlandsche Bank
22 June 2023
On June 22, Artistic Director of Human Activities Renzo Martens will participate in the talk show “Makers of New Value” themed “Art of Imagination”, organized by De Nederlandsche Bank and the Social Creative Council. The discussion will focus on the social value of artistic production for creating sustainable initiatives. Martens will introduce the case of the Balot NFT, where CATPC minted an NFT of a lost sculpture that was made to protect the community of Lusanga, DRC, against the violence of the plantation system inflicted on the territory. Through this NFT, CATPC not only reappropriates art, but equally the powers held by the original sculpture.
With the DNB, Martens wants to explore the knowledge and network of the financial world, to further develop this radical new model as a tool for decolonization. Together with Manon van Hoeckel, Let Geerling, Maaike van Leuken, different worlds will be brought closer together. Tabo Goudswaard of the Social Creative Council will moderate the conversation.
Location: DNB Auditorium, location Toorop
The talk show will be followed by drinks and further discussions.
Places are limited, if you’d like to join, please register through this link.
NRC Op-ed by Renzo Martens
7 June 2023
Image: Screenshot of Renzo Martens’ publication on NRC, including “
On 7 June 2023, Renzo Martens’ article about the connection between plantation workers and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam was published. In the publication, Martens begins by presenting the work of Dutch artist Jan Dibbets who, in 1969, dug out the four corners of the Stedelijk Museum to expose its foundations and question the existence of the museum. Fifty years later, while still speculating on the unrestrained continuation of plantation labor, the Stedelijk has not yet given credit to the plantation workers who contributed to the construction of the museum. Martens writes:
“The truth is that plantation workers are the co-authors of every single wall, every beam of light and every line of perspective.”
Read the full article here on NRC.
CATPC Walk & Talk at the Oude Kerk
19 March 2023
Image: Ced’art Tamasala and Matthieu Kasiama (CATPC) installing Ibrahim Mahama’s “Judgment of the White Cube” solo show at the White Cube in Lusanga, photo: Dareck Tuba, 2022
Join the Congolese Plantation Workers Art League CATPC as they reflect upon last year’s Ibrahim Mahama show Judgment of the White Cube at their museum in the middle of a plantation, the White Cube Lusanga, from the site of Mahama’s latest exhibition Garden of Scars at the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam.
Walking through Garden of Scars, CATPC members Matthieu Kasiama, Mbuku Kimpala and Ced’art Tamasala will discuss their long-standing collaboration with Mahama in connection to their own artistic practice. They will also announce the White Cube’s upcoming program, which aims to decolonize not only the art world but also the plantations that have historically funded the art world. The public is invited to participate in thinking about how museums can contribute to decolonization and how art can be regenerative.
This event is the first of the White Cube’s program in the Netherlands. Opening up the dialogue on decolonization between CATPC and Dutch institutions, many of which were funded with profits extracted from plantations, the program focuses on creating equal knowledge exchanges and decolonizing the place where it is needed most: the plantation.
Get tickets here. More information on the upcoming White Cube program will be released soon.
CATPC buys 50 hectares with Balot NFT
25 November 2022
Image: Balot NFT overview of 50 NFT sales that go towards the development of the Post-Plantation
CATPC has publicly called back the powers of the Balot sculpture by minting it as an NFT. On June 14 at Art Basel, the first batch in a collection of 306 individual Balot NFTs went on the market. Each purchase unleashes the powers of the sculpture and makes it work for the community: with 50 NFTs already sold, CATPC can buy back 50 hectares of land for their Post-Plantation, replanting the forest and reintroducing biodiversity in one of most impoverished areas of the world, resulting in offsetting carbon emissions and providing autonomy and food security for plantation workers.
For more info, visit balot.org
Dig Where You Stand at SCCA Tamale in Ghana
2 September – 9 October 2022
Image: courtesy of African Artists’ Foundation
Dig Where You Stand is a series of traveling exhibitions from coast to coast offering a paradigm shift by introducing a new methodology of engaging with capital both in the art world and the broader economy on the African continent. The first iteration opened on 2 September at SCCA Tamale in the presence of CATPC members Matthieu Kasiama and Ced’art Tamasala.
Dig Where You Stand is curated by Azu Nwagbogu and presented by African Artists’ Foundation in collaboration with the Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art (SCCA Tamale), the Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC) and Mondriaan Fonds. The exhibition envisions the strategies of liberation from the ongoing extractive processes of economy in and outside the art world. The exhibition not only brings together examples of regenerative artistic practices but also acts as a regenerative agent in itself –in each location leaving behind a toolkit for jumpstarting regenerative economic processes.
The White Cube in The New Yorker
18 July 2022
“The process, with its dreamlike logic, has transformed life in Lusanga.”
Read the full article here.
Two New Vacancies
9 August 2022
Balot NFTs On Sale
from 14 June 2022
Image: Balot NFT 084, CATPC, 2022
CATPC mobilizes the magic of the NFT to reclaim the powers of a long-lost sculpture and buy back land. The Balot NFT reclaims the powers of a sculpture held by a major US museum to reintroduce sustainability and cultural life on a plantation in Congo. This radical new model turns the NFT into a tool for decolonization.
After minting the first NFT last February, CATPC now enters the next stage of digital restitution. On June 14 at Art Basel, the first batch in a collection of 306 individual Balot NFTs will go on the market. Each purchase unleashes the powers of the sculpture and makes it work for the community: NFT sales will directly buy back land, replant the forest and reintroduce biodiversity in one of most impoverished areas of the world, resulting in offsetting carbon emissions and providing autonomy and food security for plantation workers.
CATPC members Matthieu Kasiama and Ced’art Tamasala will give presentations about the Balot NFT at Art Basel and Bundeskunsthalle this June, please visit our lectures page to learn more.
Find out more about the NFTs and how to buy them at balot.org.
Image: Overview of all 306 Balot NFTs, CATPC, 2022
Solo show Ibrahim Mahama at the White Cube
Open February 25 – April 17, 2022
Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama has long striven to bring together seemingly distinct value chains, from commodity extraction from the continent, to value creation within the art world. In Lusanga he will use his signature jute cocoa bags to cover the White Cube as well as a number of palm trees. This will be Mahama’s first institutional solo show in Central Africa.
Launch of CATPC’s autonomous education program / Cercle éducatif autonome de Luyalu
25 February 2022
Image: launch of CATPC autonomous educational program, photo by Ephraim Baku, 2022
On February 25, CATPC launches a long-term educational program for the decolonization of the plantation. The program will be co-initiated by Selom Kudjie (director of Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art, Tamale, Ghana) and artist Ibrahim Mahama. It is based on deep thought: muzindu and composition: kukungika, for children and adults.