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Yours, KOW

Plantation Monoculture, 2022 by Athanas Kindendie

In the sculpture we see a Congolese woman looking into the distance with aproud expression. A palm tree is growing out of her belly. The tree twists across her body, her chest, her shoulders, as if it is slowly taking over herbody —the distinction between tree and woman is hardly noticeable. Some viewers will be reminded of Gianlorenzo Bernini‘s famous seventeenth–century sculpture of Apollo and Daphne, in which Daphne flees fromApollo and then voluntarily chooses to turn into a laurel tree. This very voluntariness is also an important element for sculptor Athanas Kindendie: he shows that this woman is subject to forces she cannot control herself. For Kindendie, the woman in his sculpture symbolises both the many people forced into slave labour by Western companies in Congo and the land they work, which has been completely exhausted by the monoculture imposed. This palm monoculture, from which only western landowners benefit, takes the people, nature and natural diversity hostage, Kindendie says —the palms impoverish the land, leaving it empty, so that eventually even mankind can no longer live there. Thus, women and palm are going down together.

CATPC, Plantation Monoculture, 2022, African Mahogany, 200 x 154 x 101 cm
CATPC, Plantation Monoculture, 2022, African Mahogany, 200 x 154 x 101 cm
CATPC, Plantation Monoculture, 2022, African Mahogany, 200 x 154 x 101 cm
CATPC, Plantation Monoculture, 2022, African Mahogany, 200 x 154 x 101 cm

African Mahogany
200 x 154 x 101 cm
Ed. 3 + 1 AP

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CATPC is the Congolese Plantation Workes Art League (Cercle d‘art des travailleurs de plantation congolaise), a cooperative organization inspired by a long-term project by the Dutch artist Renzo Martens. CATPC has set itself the goal of making a way out of the hardly paid plantation work through its own agriculture, but above all through considerable artistic projects by the local community. Current and former members and interns of CATPC are Djonga Bismar, Matthieu Kilapi Kasiama, Ced'art Tamasala, Mbuku Kimpala, Manenga Kibuila, Jérémie Mabiala, Emery Muhamba, Irène Kanga, Daniel Muvunzi, Jean Kawata, Blaise Mandefu, Thomas Leba (†), Huguette Kilembi, Olele Mulela, Richard Leta, Mira Meya, Tantine Mukundu, Athanas Kindendie, Charles Leba, Philomene Lembusa and Désiré Kapasa. Over the years CATPC have had meaningful solo and group exhibitions at institutions such as The Withworth, Manchester (2023), Kunsthal Charlottenburg Biennial, Copenhagen (2023), Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam (2023), 22nd Biennial of São Paulo (2023), SCCA, Tamale (2022) and in the SculptureCenter, New York City (2017). In 2024 they will, together with Renzo Martens, represent the Netherlands at the 60th Venice Biennial in 2024.

Full Biography