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Visitors to the temples of modern art in global cities will be familiar with the white cube gallery space. But when one arises in the middle of a Congolese palm oil plantation, the effect is deeply disorienting. Furthermore, it draws attention to the often overlooked ties between colonialism and the art world, for example, through the multinationals that now proudly sponsor these Western museums.
This Congolese arts center is part of artist Renzo Martens’s unorthodox plan to jump-start the local Congolese economy. Former workers at the plantation make sculptures that are reproduced in chocolate, and then exhibited in New York. The plantation workers, most of whom earn a dollar or less a day, use the profits from this successful exhibition to buy back the land confiscated from them by Unilever.
The exhibition Made in X at Kunsthal Extra City shows two sculptures of wood and chocolate, made by the artists Djonga Bismar, Jérémie Mabiala and Cedart Tamasala, all connected to the organisation CAPTC (Cercle d'Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise). Since 2014 CATPC is working together with 'Human Activities', an organisation founded by artist Renzo Martens, for the international distribution of the statues.
The documentary White Cube treats this collaboration and documents an attempt to reverse the flow of wealth and use the privileges associated with the art world to bring about real change.
After the screening, there will be an artist talk with Renzo Martens, moderated by Joachim Naudts, artistic coordinator of Kunsthal Extra City.
Date : Thursday May 12 2022
Time: 20:00 - 22:00
Film duration: 79 minutes
Film language: Lingala, French, English (English subtitles)
Location: Kunsthal Extra City - Provinciestraat 112 - 2018 Antwerp
Price: Included with the purchase of regular entrance ticket
To register, please use this link.
The exhibition Made in X will stay open that day until 20:00, so you can visit the exhibition and the artwork of the CATPC before the screening.