WHITE CUBE

with Irène Kanga, Matthieu Kasiama and René Ngongo

a film by Renzo Martens

Written and directed by Renzo Martens 2nd unit director Eric Vander Borght Production Pieter van Huystee Film Co-production Peter Krüger/Inti Films Line production Céline Baggen, Zoë de Wilde, Lotte Gerding Editing Boaz van der Spek Additional editing Jos de Putter, Jan de Coster Cinematography Dareck Tuba, Hans Bouma, Maarten Kramer, Daan Wallis, J.A. Koster, Remco Bikkers, Louise van Assche, Eric Vander Borght, Jean Counet, Deschamps Matala, Lisa Perez, Boaz van der Spek, Renzo Martens. Grading Michiel Rummens Finishing Jan Jaap Kuiper Datahandling Watse Eisma Sound Papy Bambole-Kandole, Dareck Tuba, Philippe Benoit Sound design and mixing Ranko Pauković Commissioning editor VPRO Barbara Truyen Special contribution Janke Brands Producer Pieter van Huystee

Special thanks to: to Human Activities

a production by Pieter van Huystee Film in coproduction with VPRO and Peter Krüger / Inti Films


Synopsis

Visitors to the temples of modern art in major Western cities as New York, London, Berlin and Amsterdam will be familiar with the white cube gallery space showing critical art. But this critical art seldom benefits the local economy or position of the people who are the subject of this art. But when one arises in the middle of a Congolese palm oil plantation, the effect is deeply disorienting. Furthermore, it draws attention to the often overlooked ties between colonialism and the art world, for example, through the multinationals that now proudly sponsor these Western museums often build with the profits of the colonial system.

Building a museum at a former Unilever plantation in Leverville in Congo is part of artist Renzo Martens’s unorthodox plan to jump-start the local economy. Former workers at the plantation make sculptures that are reproduced in chocolate, and then succesfully exhibited in New York. The Congolese people, most of whom earn a dollar or less a day, use the profits from this successful exhibition* to buy back the land confiscated from them.

This documentary sees Martens continue on from Enjoy Poverty (2008), in which he encouraged impoverished African people to use photography to exploit their own suffering. On that occasion however, the local population earned nothing from their efforts. This new film documents his attempt to reverse the flow of wealth and use the privileges associated with the art world to bring about real change.

* New York Times Best art of 2017: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/06/arts/design/the-best-art-of-2017.html

WHITE CUBE

can now be seen in the following cinemas

Contact and information

Pieter van Huystee Films

Pieter van Huystee Film
Donker Curtiusstraat 125
1051 MC Amsterdam

+ 31 (0)20 4 21 0606
info@pvhfilm.nl