February 14, 2017 - SculptureCenter - Cercle d'Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise / In Practice: Material Deviance
February 14, 2017

SculptureCenter

View of Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise, SculptureCenter, New York, 2017. Photo: Kyle Knodell.

Cercle d'Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise
In Practice: Material Deviance
January 29–March 27, 2017

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Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise

Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise
(CATPC) is an art collective founded in 2014 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). First molded from clay and then cast in chocolate, the materials of the CATPC’s sculptures refer back to and overwrite the exploitative economics of global trade. So far plantation labor has funded the art world; here, art funds the emergence of a new type of post-plantation. The CATPC reinvests profits from sales of artworks in self-owned agriculture, provoking questions about the division between those who work on plantations and those who are allowed to reflect on this.

Plantation workers Djonga Bismar, Matthieu Kilapi Kasiama, Cedrick Tamasala, Mbuku Kimpala, Mananga Kibuila, Jérémie Mabiala, Emery Mohamba, and Thomas Leba, ecologist René Ngongo, and artists Michel Ekeba, Eléonore Hellio, and Mega Mingiedi are the CATPC’s leading personalities. This exhibition includes sculptures and drawings produced by the CATPC, as well as materials about their sister organization the Institute for Human Activities (IHA).

In collaboration with the IHA, founded by artist Renzo Martens and active in Congo since 2012, CATPC is building the Lusanga International Research Center for Art and Economic Inequality (LIRCAEI) on a former Unilever plantation.

Curated by Ruba Katrib.

SC Conversations: Matter of Critique Part IV
SculptureCenter hosted a public conference on the CATPC’s activities and the art world with Ariella Azoulay, Simon Gikandi, Eléonore Hellio, David Joselit, Matthieu Kilapi Kasiama, Ruba Katrib, Renzo Martens, Els Roelandt, and Michael Taussig. View video of the conference here.

Cercle d’art des travailleurs de plantation congolaise (Sternberg Press, 2017)
This new book reports on the activities of the CATPC. Edited by Els Roelandt and Eva Barois De Caevel. Purchase online.

In Practice: Material Deviance

Lauren Bakst & Yuri Masnyj
, Olivia Booth, Kim Brandt, Crystal Z Campbell, Danielle Dean, Ilana Harris-Babou, Jesse Harrod, Candice Lin and Patrick Staff, Virginia Lee Montgomery, Kate Newby, Barb Smith, Marian Tubbs, and Jessica Vaughn

Informed by encounters with the quotidian, unassuming stuff of life and its circulation, the artists included in Material Deviance connect material and bodily processes with social and infrastructural ones. They look to irregularities, glitches, gaps, residues, and altered states—either found or enacted—to access the latent histories of materials in order to expose underlying systems of power, regulation, value, and control. While these systems inevitably shape the movement of bodies through the world, the works on view reveal the cracks where counter-movements and improvisational modes are possible.

Performance schedule

Curated by 2017 SculptureCenter Curatorial Fellow Alexis Wilkinson.


About SculptureCenter
Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter is a not-for-profit arts institution in Long Island City, NY dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture. SculptureCenter commissions new works and presents exhibitions by emerging and established, national and international artists. Our programs identify new talent, explore the conceptual, aesthetic and material concerns of contemporary sculpture, and encourage independent vision.

SculptureCenter’s exhibition and operating support is provided by grants from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation; in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the Kraus Family Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the A. Woodner Fund; Jeanne Donovan Fisher; and contributions from our Board of Trustees and Director's Circle.

CATPC is made possible with support from the Mondriaan Fund, the Robert Lehman Foundation, and as part of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York. Additional in-kind support is provided by Barry Callebaut.

SculptureCenter’s annual In Practice open call program offers emerging artists curatorial and financial support to create new work for exhibition at SculptureCenter. In Practice is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, VIA Art Fund, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. 

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