25 September 2020 – 24 January 2021

A preview of Renzo Martens’ new film White Cube shown @ MUHKA, Antwerp

A five-minute long preview of the film White Cube, directed by Renzo Martens, is part of the exhibition MONOCULTURE in MUHKA, Antwerp. The film documents the unlikely attempt of a group of plantation workers to buy back their land with the proceeds of their art. The full film will premier later this year.

The exhibition ‘MONOCULTURE – A Recent History’ attempts to analyse and understand the concept of ‘monoculture’ leading towards a deeper comprehension of multiculturalism.

12 September 2020 – 10 January 2021

CATPC member Irene Kanga @WIELS, Brussels

Irène Kanga (Lusanga, 1994) is a permanent member of the plantation workers’ art league CATPC (Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise). She will be showing her signature piece Amour Forcé/Forced Love (2016-2020) during the exhibition Risquons-Tout at Wiels in Brussels.
The sculpture depicts a colonial agent committing the rape of Kafutchi, who was the wife of chief Kelenge, as part of the recruitment of forced labour for Unilever plantations in Congo in 1931. It is reproduced six times in cacao from Brazil and palm fat from Malaysia. A video providing background information on artist and work will be available on the Wiels website soon.
The exhibition Risquons-Tout focuses on today’s global connectivity, transnational circulation and diasporic movements.
For more information on the exhibition Risquons-Tout click here
Buy tickets here


9 September 2020

Eden, Eden, Eden at 50 @the White Cube

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Pierre Guyotat’s polemic book Eden, Eden, Eden (first released and immediately censored in 1970), the Association Pierre Guyotat is organizing fifty readings in fifty different places around the world today.
The White Cube is one of the participating venues. Several members of le Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC) will be reading parts of the book. Other participating venues include Villa Borghese, Musée d’Orsay, Festival d’Avignon, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Fondation Azzedine Alaïa, Museo Nacional Centre de Arte Reina Sofía, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires Malba and Artists’ Space in New York.

Out now: Critique in Practice: Renzo Martens’ Episode III (Enjoy Poverty)

A volume of essays, edited by Anthony Downey.

Investigating the economic value of one of DR Congo’s most lucrative exports (namely, poverty), Renzo Martens’ provocative film Episode III: Enjoy Poverty (2008) remains a landmark intervention into debates about contemporary art’s relationship to exploitative economies. Throughout Critique in Practice, contributors explore the work’s legacy and how it relates to the politics of representation, uses of the documentary form, art criticism, the deployment of humanitarian aid, the impact of extractive forms of globalized capital, and the neoliberal politics of decolonization. The unconventional representation of acute immiseration throughout Enjoy Poverty generated far-from-resolved disputes about how deprivation is portrayed within Western mainstream media and throughout global cultural institutions. Using a range of approaches, this volume reconsiders that portrayal and how the film’s reception led Martens to found the long-term program Human Activities.

For the occasion of the publication of the book, the film Enjoy Poverty can be watched free of charge here using the promotion code: CritiqueinPractice. This campaign runs until June 1 2020.

CATPC artists lecture at the 2020 Yale ISTF conference

The annual conference of the International Society of Tropical Foresters at Yale, themed: Restoration for What and for Whom?, will include an artist talk by Ced’art Tamasala and Matthieu Kasiama. Matthieu and Ced’art will present the White Cube program and share their perspectives on tropical forestry and ecosystem restoration.

About the 2020 Yale ISTF conference:

The year 2020 marks the deadline for many international climate change and conservation targets, yet most goals and promises remain unfulfilled … As countries around the world ramp up their pledges to restore tropical ecosystems, we need to re-examine our approach. What is being restored? Why is restoration necessary in the first place? Who will benefit from restoration efforts and who will lose out?

Matthieu and Ced’art will speak on Saturday, the first of February, between 10:40 and 11:30.

Human Activities improves future sculptures with refined palm oil

At Human Activities’ Research and Development, we are working tirelessly to test new materials for our sculptures. In a one-year research project, generously supported by the Culture fund of the ABN-AMRO bank, the team has invented materials in many ways superior to chocolate alone.
Adding refined palm oil to the sculptures makes them more rigid, more heat resilient and less inclined to fracture. Also, by replacing cacao fats with palm oil derivatives, we have managed to shave over 65% off our direct materials cost. In addition we have eased manufacturing processes up to the point where we hardly need any skilled labour in the course of production. These improvements lead to an unprecedented surge in unit value added, all the while maintaining the appreciated chocolate smell and feel. To ensure sustainability, we are aiming for a transition to RSPO certified palm oil before the end of 2020. This leap in cost-efficiency allows a greater revenue for the Congolese workers who have created the sculptures.

CATPC presents work at Statista in Berlin

CATPC artists Ced’art Tamasala and Matthieu Kasiama have presented their work in a workshop and a presentation with, among others, Chto Delat and ruangrupa at Statista in Berlin, 12-16 September 2019.

Sculpture Workshop with Ibrahim Mahama

Ibrahim Mahama visited the Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise in Lusanga to discuss his work and lead a Sculpture Workshop.

Image: CATPC members Ced’art Tamasala and Matthieu Kasiama along with visiting musician Kalej plant a tree for Ibrahim down by the Kwenge river.

CATPC at Art Basel

CATPC’s sculpture How My Grandfather Survived was exhibited at Art Basel by KOW. Rendered in gold, it was on view until June 16, 2019.

Cedart Tamasala wins Congo’s Art Tembo prize

CATPC’s Vice President and artist Cedart Tamasala has won Congo’s Art Tembo prize in Kinshasa on April 21 2019.

LIRCAEI listed “Best Projects Opening in 2019”

IHA and CATPC’s collaborative center LIRCAEI (Lusanga International Research Center for Art and Economic Inequality) has been listed as “Leading Architects’ Best Pro-Bono Projects Opening in 2019”

Architectural Digest listed the centre as an example of how architects are investing in ventures for sustainability and the greater good. OMA’s architect on the project, David Gianotten, commented:

The museum aims to encourage the much-needed public debate on contemporary art’s current distributions of power and value chains. OMA supports the centre’s ambitions to produce an artistic critique to the art world and its inequalities, and to facilitate its investigation into strategies of resistance.”

White Cube in Top 10 museums and cultural venues

Designboom placed The OMA-designed White Cube in Lusanga in the Top-10 of groundbreaking museums and cultural centers of 2017. Off to a good start! A full article from Designboom can be found here.

Also congratulations to Zeitz MOCAA – Museum of Contemporary Art Africa and Louvre Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel for making this list.