Netherlands Pavilion at Venice Art Biennale 2024

The exhibitors are: Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC): Djonga Bismar, Alphonse Bukumba, Irène Kanga, Muyaka Kapasa, Matthieu Kasiama, Jean Kawata, Huguette Kilembi, Mbuku Kimpala, Athanas Kindendi, ⁠Felicien Kisiata, Charles Leba, Philomène Lembusa, Richard Leta, Jérémie Mabiala, Plamedi Makongote, Blaise Mandefu, Daniel Manenga, Mira Meya, Emery Muhamba, Tantine Mukundu, Olele Mulela, Daniel Muvunzi, René Ngongo, Alvers Tamasala, Ced’art Tamasala.

Official description: Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC) is an artists’ collective of Congolese plantation workers, based in Lusanga in the heart of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on a plantation formerly owned by the British-Dutch multinational Unilever. CATPC holds companies like these responsible for exploiting their forests and societies, causing extreme poverty and destroying biodiversity. Since 2014, by creating and selling artworks abroad, CATPC has been buying their ancestral lands back and transforming them into biodiverse agroforests. CATPC argues that art institutions should realise that their buildings and programmes are financed by the very same companies that exploited plantation labour. That’s why in 2017, CATPC – together with Dutch artist Renzo Martens – opened the White Cube, an art centre pinned at the very core of where the proceeds were obtained to fund white cubes all over the world. For Biennale Arte 2024 CATPC presents new sculptures in both the Dutch Pavilion and the White Cube. Alongside, the Dutch Pavilion presents the performance film The Judgement of the White Cube. The ancestral sculpture Balot plays a central role in both exhibitions. For CATPC this wooden statue, made in 1931, is of great significance, connecting the past with the present.

Netherlands Pavilion at Venice Art Biennale 2024. Venice (Italy), April 19, 2024.

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