Preview Dutch Pavilion – Venice Biennale 2024

27 March 2024

Image: Venice Biennale Preview, De Balie, Amsterdam, © De Balie, photo: Jan Boeve

The Congolese artist collective Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC) will represent the Netherlands at the Venice Biennale 2024, supported by artist Renzo Martens and curator Hicham Khalidi. In the run-up to the 60th biennale, opening on 20 April, they gave a preview of their joint plan and elaborated on the story behind their choices in De Balie, Amsterdam.

Watch back the conversation here.

The collective and community of Congolese plantation workers CATPC is based in Lusanga, the site of Anglo-Dutch company Unilever’s very first plantation. In 2017, in tandem with Renzo Martens’ wish to ‘reverse gentrification’, they opened the White Cube, a museum, in Lusanga. A place where the members of CATPC create the artworks that they exhibit in leading museum worldwide. The proceeds from their art are being used to buy back former plantation lands to transform them into biodiverse agro-forests. For CATPC, the time has come for plantation workers to reclaim the land and the profits extracted from plantations and later invested in museums, as theirs.

"The opportunity to connect a white cube on a plantation to one of the art world’s top events allows a direct look at these two worlds and the disparities between them." – Ced’art Tamasala on behalf of CATPC

Renzo Martens and Hicham Khalidi have sought to find a way in which CATPC can represent itself at the Dutch pavilion in Venice. The Dutch entry will therefore consist of two presentations that are directly mirrored and connected. The joint plan by Martens, Khalidi and CATPC will be open to the public from 20 April until 24 November 2024 at the Rietveld Pavilion in Venice and simultaneously at the White Cube in Lusanga, the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Dutch entry is commissioned by the Mondriaan Fund.