Sculptures by CATPC in MIMA

5 February 2016

The Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC) is proudly presenting their self-portrait sculptures in the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) from the 6th of February onwards. IHA, a proud co-producer in this project, thinks MIMA provides an excellent stage being an, “institution that promotes art as a tool for social change.”

At the opening on the 6th of February one can enjoy tours, speeches, an introduction by our editor at IHA, Els Roelandt, and a conversation with CATPC executive director Eleonore Hellio. There will also be educational workshops as well as a performance by Robert Maseko, an Congolese-British master drummer.

The expressive energy of Congolese sculpture once inspired European avant-garde. Unfortunately, colonial occupation put Congolese art production to a halt. Now, a new generation of plantation workers, experts on global inequality, give vivid form to their feelings with an critical awareness of the circumstances in which they live.

The sculpture, 'Poisonous Miracle', by Thomas Leba, tells the story of a chameleon sinking it’s poisonous teeth into a grandmother's foot. The story is an metaphor for the transformation that occurred when money and capitalism entered alongside Belgian colonial hegemony. Thomas is a carpenter and a farmer.

Furthermore, Mbuku Kipala’s, ‘Self-portrait without Clothes’, a smash-hit at the KW Institute of Contemporary Art, gives an encouraging message for women to be proud of their nude bodies. Mbuku is 20 years old, has three children and uses her sculpture work as a way to sustain her family.

The exhibition will run until the 29th of May 2016.