Renzo Martens spent several years filming people he met in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His observant eye became increasingly critical, denouncing the ills that are devastating the country such as the self-destructive system of monocropping and the iron grip of multinationals on workers’ plantations. After Enjoy Poverty, Renzo Martens’ White Cube shows how the Congolese Plantation Workers Art League experimented with artworks made of mud and chocolate, taking part in exhibitions and art sales (for their own benefit) in upscale galleries in Amsterdam and New York and radically restructuring the value chain of the art object. The success of the White Cube project allows residents of Lusanga to buy back land and invent a new ecological and economic post-plantation model. The project pleads in favour of a kind of contemporary art that criticised inequalities and allows people to step beyond them – not only in a symbolic way but also in material terms.
MEETING with Renzo Martens and Tamer El Saïd accompanied by other artists of the 2021 program including Wilda Philippe of the Rara Woulib company - Saturday 19 June after the screening