AUGUST 2014 - During the summer series 'The choice of the columnist' on NPO doc, writer Arnon Grunberg chose Episode III: Enjoy Poverty as one of his favorite documentaries. Episode III will be broadcasted several times in the week of August, 23 - 29. Click here to see the full schedule.
AUGUST 2014 - IHA reopens on an undisclosed location in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Since 2012, the Institute for Human Activities (IHA) has worked on what it called ‘A Gentrification Program’ on a former Unilever plantation near Boteka in the DRC, 800 kilometers from Kinshasa on a small tributary of the Congo River.
In the summer of 2013, Canadian palm oil operator Feronia blocked public roads, reneged on contracts and destroyed IHA's headquarters. It also confiscated artworks in which children of plantation workers expressed their vision of the future, made in workshops led by therapist Rony Berger. The IHA was forced to leave its buildings and the communities with whom it had been working in close collaboration.
The IHA has since resettled to an undisclosed location in the DRC. It is here that the IHA continues to explore how art that is fully engaged with the globalized conditions of its own functioning can make more profound claims on reality.
Installation view 'Baldessari Sings LeWitt', 2014. Presentation Van Abbemuseum Collection, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Current Program - August 5-14, 2014
From August 5 to 14 the IHA resumes its Critical Curriculum, presents artworks from the Van Abbemuseum and hosts the inaugural meeting of the Congolese Plantation Workers Art League.
As a first of a series of exhibitions from the Van Abbemuseum Collection, the IHA exhibits video works by Bruce Nauman, John Baldessari and Dan Graham, exploring the Institute’s indebtedness to minimalism, its transition into early institutional critique—the notion of art as a construct between its means of production and the role it fulfills for its audiences.
In response to last summer’s dramatic events, Congolese activist René Ngongo will preside over the inaugural meeting of the Congolese Plantation Workers Art League. The League is a consensus-driven artistic community that strategizes economic diversification and prioritizes issues its members aim to tackle. The meeting will take place in a structure designed by NYC-based artist Liam Gillick.
The presentation of the Van Abbemuseum Collection and inaugural League meeting coincide with IHA’s Critical Curriculum, a series of workshops led by Kinshasa-based artists Mega Mingiedi, Eléonore Hellio and Michel Ekeba, in which Congolese plantation workers, most of them members of the League, embark on the production of elaborate self-portraits, and make the transition from lowly paid plantation labor into more lucrative post-Fordist affective labor.
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AUGUST 2014 - Episode III: Enjoy Poverty is currently on view at Mu.ZEE where the work is part of the group show Hunting and Collecting curated by Sammy Baloji
July 2014 - Fundacja Slowa i Rzeczy is presenting a six-month during program on the interdisciplinary relationship between contemporary art and globalization. Episode III: Enjoy Poverty is joining the program and will be screened on July 17th in the Arsenal Gallery, Bialystok, Poland.
July 2014 - The exhibition 'More Power' at Museum de Fundatie in Zwolle, is showing a glimpse of the establishment of the Institute for Human Activities in the Congolese rainforest. Friday July 4th, Renzo Martens will virtually join the conference at the museum by speaking from his current location at the Institute for Human Activities.
A screening of Episode III: Enjoy Poverty, continued by a Skype talk with Renzo Martens, takes place on July 4th, at Museum de Fundatie, Blijmarkt 20, Zwolle, Netherlands.
The exhibition 'More Power/Meer Macht' can be visited until August 17.
May 2014 - A screening of Episode III: Enjoy Poverty will be followed by a conversation with Claire Bishop, Ashley Dawson and Renzo Martens at The Center for the Humanities in New York on May 9.
4.30 - 6 PM screening in Room 3416
6.30 PM conversation in the Skylight Room (9100)
The Center for the Humanities
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, US
April 2014 - A viewing copy of Episode III: Enjoy Poverty is now available for online rent and/or purchase. Please have a look at the official website www.enjoypoverty.com.
April 2014 - "Martens appears to be offering a courageous indictment of Western crisis-porn, but as the questions unfold, he begins asking things like “Do you find me handsome?” and the work deliquesces from reportage to art.", are the satisfying descriptive words of William Kherbek on Renzo Martens Episode I. Episode I has currently it's first viewing in Berlin in the exhibition 'It's My Hair And I Can Do What I Want With It' in Galerie Kamm. A nicely reported review of the exhibition was published in PORT Magazine by William Kherbek. Click here to read the full review.
March 2014 - Open letter to the Artistic Director, Team, Board, Artists and Visitors of the 2014 Sydney Biennial
Dear Madam, Sir,
The turmoil about the links between maltreatment of refugees and Transfield as the sponsor of the Sydney Biennial, represents a tremendous problem for the organizers of the Sydney Biennial. But it may also be a golden opportunity. Thanks to the artists taking a stance against Transfield’s sponsorship, the chair of the Board resigned. The agenda has been reset, and this Biennial may well become a landmark event in which the complex entanglement of art and global economic segregation takes center stage.
Let’s be clear: even if the Sydney Biennial were funded by the most benevolent of sponsors, it would still depend on the same global economic segregation Transfield is contracted to enforce. I wonder if, without this segregation, any of the artists involved could ever afford to make art and fly halfway around the world to present their pieces in Sydney in the first place.
One piece that the Sydney Biennial wanted to show is Episode 3, also known as Enjoy Poverty, a piece I made a few years ago. It shows a white man’s self-congratulatory political gestures in the face of relentless exploitation. The piece portrays the current predicament and art’s role in it. It therefore belongs in the Sydney Biennial, not in spite of Transfield’s corporate sponsorship but because of it.
Another piece of mine the Biennial wanted to show does not deal with these issues; I therefore withdraw Episode 1. It has no place in the immense challenge the artists have forced the Biennial to take on: find out what art means vis-à-vis the structural inequalities it depends on.
I request that this letter takes the place of the work I withdraw from the exhibition.
March 2014 - Devika Sharma will speak about humanitarian imagery and hereby discuss pictures of Episode III at the symposium 'What Images Do' in Copenhagen.
What Images Do
March 19 - 21, 2014
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen
March 2014 - Episode I is shown in the groupshow It's my hair and I can do what I want with it curated by Kirsa Geiser in Galerie Kamm, Berlin.
Participating artists: Lisa Holzer, Liz Magic Laser, Renzo Martens, Pilvi Takala, Britta Thie and Jordan Wolfson
On view from March 1st till April 19th, 2014.
Tue - Sat 11am - 6pm
Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 45, Berlin
Renzo Martens is proud to announce his solo exhibition at The BOX in Los Angeles.
Prior to the opening of the show, Renzo Martens will be speaking at USC Roski School of Art and Design's Graduate Lecture Series.
December 2013 - An installation of Episode III will be on view during the exhibition global aCtIVISm at the ZKM I Museum of Contemporary Art in Karlsruhe, Germany.
November 2013 - Hunger For Trade, a two-day conference at the SchauSpielHaus Hamburg aims to explore the problems and perspectives of the global food market. In the context of developing performative strategies to establish an artistic discourse on the future of food in its global context and reaching out research material, Episode III will be screened and discussed by Renzo Martens on November, 30th.
Please click here to learn more.
November 2013 - We proudly announce Renzo Martens' participation in the 19th Biennale of Sydney.
"The 19th Biennale of Sydney celebrates the power of artistic imagination. You Imagine What You Desire is an optimistic biennale that presents an exploration of the world and contemporary aesthetic experience through the inventions and desires of the artists."
October 2013 - On October 18th, Renzo Martens joins a panel discussion on 'Art and Media in Congo', a special kick-off event for the 5th Anniversary Edition of NY-based film/event series Congo In Harlem, organized by SocDoc at the School of Visual Arts NYC.
October 2013 - '9 Artists' at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
Prior to the exhibition '9 artists', the artist lecture on the Institute for Human Activities will take place on October 17th at the Walker Cinema.
This lecture will be webcast live on the Walker Channel.
September 2013 - Renzo Martens has been invited to participate in the program 'One True Art - 16 Responses to the Question ‘What is art?'' at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid.
Within the framework of a search after a definition of art or why this seems to be impossible, Renzo Martens will elucidate the Institute for Human Activities.
More info here.
September 2013 - Renzo Martens will speak about the Institute for Human Activities at the third talk on 'Phantasma und Politik' in Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin.
Sunday 22.09.2013, 8 PM
Tickets are here available
September 2013 - 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. Episode 3 is selected by curators Xander Karskens and Irina Gorlova for the exhibition 'Ghost in the system - scenarios for resistance' at the National Centre for Contemporary Arts in Moscow.
September 2013 - 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. Episode 1 is selected by curators Elena Sorokina and Jelle Bouwhuis for the exhibition 'Space of Exception' at ARTPLAY Design Center in Moscow.
Click here for more info.
June 2013 - Enjoy poverty is to be discussed in the June issue of The Brooklyn Rail Magazine, written by crystal am nelson.
The article can be read here
June 2013 - The travelling exhibition "Either / Or" on the occasion of Søren Kierkegaard’s (1813 – 1855) bicentenary with work of Renzo Martens, will be on view at the Haus am Waldsee in Berlin from 22 June to 22 September.
May 2013 - On the Institute for Human Activities presentation at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
Click here for more information
May 2013 - Renzo Martens Martens will give a presentation and discuss the project of the Institute for Human Activities with TJ Demos, Anthony Downey, and Sarah James in London.
May 2013 - From May 8 until May 11, Renzo Martens will give a lecture on the Institute for Human Activities, in the context of the Kunstenfestivaldesarts at Wiels (Brussels).
Click here for more information about the presentation.
May 2013 — The Institute for Human Activities, a new institute Renzo is part of, announces a series of presentations.
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, WIELS, Brussels — presentation — 8-11 May 2013
Sotheby's Institute of Art in partnership with University College London, London — presentation — 22 May 2013
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam — presentation — 26 May 2013
9 Artists, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis — exhibition — 27 October 2013 - 16 February 2014
Click here to learn more.
April 2013 - On the second of April Renzo Martens' film Episode III will be introduced by Pierre Bismuth during the film festival Encore! at Bonniers Konsthall. Read all about the festival here
March 2013 - Episode III was selected by curator Solvej Helweg Ovesen for the group show "Either/Or" at the Nikolaj Kunsthal in Copenhagen, Denmark.
March 2013 - Renzo Martens' Episode III will be screened in Cairo during Battles Of Images, a series of lectures and events curated by Shuruq Harb. Battles of Images takes a look at the visual culture resulting from shifts in photojournalism towards systems of aid.
March 2013 - On tuesday March 12 art historian T.J. Demos considers Renzo Martens’s video Enjoy Poverty from 2008 in a joint presentation by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics and the Cooper Union School of Art’s Interdisciplinary Seminar.
February 2013 - Episode III: Enjoy Poverty is now on view in the gallery at the Tropenmuseum during the exhibition Onverwachte Ontmoetingen. The show is an encounter between Renzo Martens' piece in the Congo and the colonial expedition film "By Aeroplane to Pygmyland" (1926).
February 2013 - Now on view in Museum M in the exhibition Blijven Kijken | Ce qui nous regarde | Dropouts: a selection of photographs by the Association des Photographes de Kanyabayonga, in collaboration with Renzo Martens.
February 2013 - A symposium: The politics of the social in contemporary art in Tate Modern, London
February 2013 - Another book to add to your wish list: Documentary (Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art), edited by Julian Stallabrass. A critical reflection on the recent revival of documentary in contemporary art.
February, 2013. T. J. Demos' forthcoming book "Return to the Postcolony: Specters of Colonialism in Contemporary Art"
January 2013 - New publication In and Out of Brussels. Figuring Postcolonial Africa and Europe in the Films of Herman Asselberghs, Sven Augustijnen, Renzo Martens, and Els Opsomer. Edited by Hilde Van Gelder, T. J. Demos
October 2012 - On Friday, 12 October Renzo Martens will be doing an artist talk at Yale Law School to accompany the screening of Episode III: Enjoy Poverty. The film and the talk will be part of the seminar Capture 2012: Photography, Nature and Human Rights organized by Laura Wexler. Other lecturers will be Tom Keenan and Ariella Azoulay.
October 2012 — The Institute is delighted to announce its new curator, Els Roelandt. Els has been the chief editor of A Prior, a magazine she co-founded.
July 2012 — Presentation at the Städelschule in Frankfurt on invitation from Nicolaus Hirsch.
April 2012 — The Institute for Human Activities, a new Institute Renzo is part of, has its first show at the 7th Berlin Biennial.
June 2012 — On 11 and 12 June the Institute for Human Activities held its Opening Seminar in the Congolese rainforest.
June 20, 2012. Episode 3 presentation, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland.
May 2012 — The Institute for Human Activities is pleased to announce that Dutch public broadcaster VPRO will produce a feature documentary film about the Institute's Gentrification Program. Hundreds of thousands of viewers will be informed about this innovative program.
April, 2012 - A Series of Navigations at The Model, Sligo, Ireland.
A Series of Navigations
January 10, 2012. In the slipstream of the show 'Models for Taking Part' curated by Juan Gaitan, co- hosted by a number of Toronto institutions, a talk. Bernake Gallery
October 2011 - Auditorium Moscow. A Sketch for a Public Space at the 4th Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art
October 2011 - La géographie, ça sert, d’abord, à faire la guerre
Samedi 8 octobre et Samedi 19 novembre 2011 /
John Smith / Renzo Martens / Sean Snyder
September 2011 - TJ Demos and a screening in Copenhagen. 'Models for Taking Part' in Toronto. More in Moscow.
April 2011- Dieter Roelstraete embraces Episode 3, and a theological position, in e - flux journal.
On Leaving the Building: Thoughts of the Outside
April 2011 - TJ Demos writes beautiful article on Alfredo Jaar, Abderrahmane Sissake, Jacques Ranciere and Episode 3
“Poverty Pornography, Humanitarianism, and Neoliberal Globalization: Notes on Some Paradoxes in Contemporary Art,”
March 26, 2011 - Talks and screenings at Nomas Foundation's 'A film Cycle' in Rome this Sunday, March 27, at Kunstverein in Milan on Monday and at Goldsmiths Universities' 'Institute for Resarch Architecture' in London, on Tuesday 29.
March 31 - Highly recommended: 'Antiphotojournalism' travels to the Amsterdam 'Foam' Museum and opens March 31. With seminal works by a.o. Susan Meiselas, Ariella Azoulay, Eyal Weizman and Hito Steyerl. And Episode 1, too.
March 29, - Talk at Center for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University, London
January 20, 2011 - New essays on Episode 3.
January 15, 2011 - My War, Kingston, Canada. With a.o. Harun Farocki, Harrell Fletcher, Milica Tomic.
December 8 - 11, Capitalism and the Aesthetics of Knowledge in the 21st century, Kunsthalle Athena: Ursula Biemann, Johan Grimonprez, Renzo Martens, Allan Sekula.
December 8, 2010 - December, 12, 2010, Image Mouvement, Centre d'Art Contemporain Geneve
November 25, 2010 - Episode 1 at the Center for Digital Art in Holon, Israel.
November 6, 2010 - The Ethics of The Encounter, at Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, with Renzo Martens: Episode III (2009), Artur Żmijewski: Repetition (2005), Frederick Wiseman: Primate (1974)
November 22, 2010 - Interesting talks, by Bettina Steinbrügge, Phil Collins, Jan-Peter Hammer and Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson in Firenze. And some screenings, too.
September 7, 2010 : Kadist Art Foundation, Betonsalon, The Public School: Séminaire 12 gestures avec pour invité l’artiste Renzo Martens...
November, 5, 2010 - CPHDox, Copenhagen: 'One of the decade's most important and controversial films'.
September, 9, 2010 - “Do we all have strength enough to endure the misfortunes of others?”, a conversation about Renzo Martens’ film Episode III: Enjoy Poverty, with Jennifer Allen, Felix Ensslin, Renzo Martens, Ana Teixeira Pinto and Dieter Roelstraete.'
June 2010 - Contrary to the 'promise' made in the film, Episode 3 screens in Kinshasa.
July, 6, 2010 - The excellent 'Antiperiodismo', curated by Thomas Keenan and Carles Guerra at 'La Vireinna' in Barcelona shows seminal works by Susan Meiselas, Ariella Azoulay, Eyal Weizman and Hito Steyerl. And then, surprise!, Episode 3, too.
June 2010 - This summer, Episode 3 opens at the 6th Berlin Biennial, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and in Kunsthaus Graz...
June, 2, 2010 - Episode 3 at Tate Modern, with T.J. Demos and Tamar Garb, both of UCL's Department of Art History. One day prior to that, Alfredo Cramerotti joins Martens in a conversation at Nottingham Contemporary.
The Hopelessness of Contemporary Art: The Case of Renzo Martens’ Episode III, with Thomas Keenan, Carles Guerra, Toma-Muteba Luntumbue, T.J. Demos and Hilde Van Gelder.