CATPC - the artists from the plantation. A portrait by Baloji, 2018
Concerned that the value produced from the plantations is funnelled out of local communities, former plantation workers came together with the vision of creating community owned, inclusive, ecologically sensitive ‘Post-Plantations’.
This new social enterprise generated its capital from the production of artworks, notably, sculptures made from cacao, that were presented with acclaim to the global art market. It is the belief of the collective that it is not enough to simply make art about inequality, art can be made to redress inequality directly.
The first solo exhibition in the USA was hailed by the New York Times in their shortlist of the ‘best art of 2017’, naming it the most challenging exhibition of the year. The work has been exhibited across Europe, elsewhere in the US, together with the Biennale of Sydney.
MAMA is thrilled to present CATPC – the artists from the Plantation a video portrait of the collective by the Belgian-Congolese poet, musician and filmmaker Baloji. A dream-like sequence that dances through the plantation and its people, questioning the connection between the plantation system, its investors, and the funding of arts institutions globally.
Set in the lush landscape around Lusanga, in the south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where CATPC formed in 2014, the film is punctuated with portraits of individual artists and their artworks. Also depicted is the collective’s museum, a White Cube structure designed by OMA, on a 85 hectare plantation that has been gradually bought back as the group generates profits from its artwork sales.
The goal of the collective is to demonstrate that an inclusive, ecological and worker-owned plantation, driven by art is more profitable and more sustainable than the exploitative model of intensively cropping monocultures on behalf of investors that still prevails in many parts of the world.
Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous assistance from the Mondriaan Fund and Murray Art Museum Albury.
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