SculptureCenter is pleased to announce the first exhibition of the Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (Congolese Plantation Workers Art League or CATPC) in the United States.
CATPC is an expanding art collective co-founded with the Institute for Human Activities in 2014 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Plantation workers Djonga Bismar, Mathieu Kilapi Kasiama, Cedrick Tamasala, Mbuku Kimpala, Mananga Kibuila, Jérémie Mabiala, Emery Mohamba, and Thomas Leba, ecologist René Ngongo, and the Kinshasa-based artists Michel Ekeba, Eléonore Hellio, and Mega Mingiedi are its leading personalities. The Institute for Human Activities has been working in the Congo since 2012, and Dutch visual artist Renzo Martens is its founder.
Creating sculptures with cacao as a primary material, the artists that comprise the CATPC are plantation workers who harvest raw material for international companies. The Congolese plantation laborers use material sourced from cacao plantations worldwide to make artworks and subsidize their low wages, which allows them to occupy another place in the global value chain, one normally reserved for middle-class artists. This exhibition will include existing and new sculptures and drawings produced by members of the CATPC, as well as materials about the larger activities and context of their work and collaborations in the Congo.
The exhibition is curated by SculptureCenter Curator Ruba Katrib and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated publication.