A conversation on racism, on abject representations of human beings, on the economic structures that lie hidden beneath these representations, and on whether artists can take responsibility for the society they inhabit.
"Perhaps in the future … Congolese plantation workers will sip cappuccinos in the jungle while discussing, say, critical strategies in contemporary art practice, just as they do in Shoreditch and Brooklyn."
Renzo Martens (1973) is a Dutch artist and filmmaker, living and working in Kinshasa, Brussels and Amsterdam. In 2010 he founded the Institute for Human Activities, that 'aims to gentrify the jungle', by establishing what he refers to as a settlement where art can fully embrace the terms and conditions of its won conditions.
In his conceptual documentary films Episode I (2003) and Episode III: Enjoy Poverty (2008) Martens used his position as an artist to highlight the exploitation of underpriviledged people by media industries and cultural producers, including Martens himself. Renzo’s films have been shown at the 6th Berlin Biennial, Tate Modern in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Van Abbe Museum Eindhoven, Kunsthaus Graz, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, as well as at numerous film festivals and on public broadcast channels. Since 2013 Renzo Martens is a Yale World Fellow. He participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the 19th Biennale of Sydney in 2014, the Moscow Biennale 2013, and the 6th and 7th Berlin Biennial in 2010 and 2012.
Quinsy Gario was born in Curaçao and raised in St. Maarten and the Netherlands. He studied Theater, Film and Television Studies at the Utrecht University with a focus on Gender and Postcolonial Studies. He won the _Hollandse Nieuwe 12 Theatermakers Prize _2011, the Issue Award 2014, the Amsterdam Fringe Festival Silver Award 2015 and was a finalist in the 2011 Dutch National Poetry Slam Championship.
His most well known work Zwarte Piet Is Racism e critiqued the general knowledge surrounding the racist Dutch figure of Black Pete which he followed up by bringing out into the open the governmental support that keeps the figure alive in the Netherlands. His latest focus is on state protection of the marginalized and political resistance as performance.
He is a member of the pan-African artist collective State of L3 and his work has been shown in Galleri Image (Denmark), Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (Belgium), SMART Project Space and Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (Netherlands). He has performed among other places in Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Contact Theater (Manchester) and Ballhaus Naunynstraße (Berlin). Currently he is enrolled in the Master Artistic Research program at the Royal Academy of Art The Hague.
Artwork by Trijntje Noske & Leonie Schneider
The Studium Generale-sculpture for this week is a performance of three people (Trijntje Noske, Gideon Oosten and janne schripper) isolating themselves by covering ears and eyes for the whole day in the entrence hall. This performance is a reaction towards the political filmmaking of renzo martens. The three performers represent the wealthy society ignoring the matter poverty. The western society is too occupied with their own thoughts.