White Cube, dir. Renzo Martens, Netherlands / Belgium / Democratic Republic of the Congo 2020, 79 min. English, Lingala and French with English subtitles
The ICA is delighted to welcome Dutch artist Renzo Martens for a presentation of his film work White Cube, a powerful and provocative dissection of art, class and decolonisation. White Cube follows the Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC), a plantation workers’ cooperative based on a former Unilever plantation in the Congolese town of Lusanga, as they attempt to end the destructive system of monoculture on their lands – by building upon it a gallery, the ‘white cube’ of the title.
By presenting and selling art within this new space, the collective attempt to raise sufficient finances to buy back their land from international plantation companies – and secure it for future generations. From the violence of the plantation system to the aesthetics of the gallery, this multi-layered and fascinating film posits that galleries and museums can only become decolonised and inclusive if the benefits accrued from them flow back to the workers whose labour financed – in some cases, continue to finance – their foundations.
The screening will be followed by a conversation with Renzo Martens, joined by Suhail Malik, Emilia Terracciano, and Ibrahim Mahama.
Suhail Malik is Co-Director of the MFA Fine Art at Goldsmiths, London, where he holds a Readership in Critical Studies. Malik is co-editor of The Flood of Rights and The Time-Complex: Post-Contemporary, among other volumes. Recent writings include ‘Capitalizing AntiGentrification’ in Realty, ‘The Global Value Chain of the White Cube’ in Critique in Practice, and ‘ContraContemporary’ in The Future of the New.
Emilia Terracciano is a writer and a lecturer in the history of modern art at the University of Manchester. Her research interests lie in modern and contemporary art with a focus on the global south.
Ibrahim Mahama is an artist living and working in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale, Ghana. His most recent work Lazarus at the White Cube Gallery, London looks at the potential of decay within a time of ecological crisis. His work has been included in the Venice Biennale, documenta 14 Athens and Kassel, Orderly Disorderly, Accra, and Images An Age of Our Own Making, Denmark. Mahama's important project to date is the building of new institutions in the north of Ghana dedicated to pedagogy, culture and experimentations.
Sun, 17 Oct 2021
£13 Full, £11 Concessions, £6.50 Green/Blue Members