Tickets were €5,- in pre-sale and €6,- at the door.
On March 6, artist Renzo Martens provided an in-depth look at the workflow behind the chocolate sculptures that are sold through the Institute for Human Activities pop-up store at V2_.
The IHA asserts that even when art critically engages with global inequalities, it most often solely brings beauty, jobs, and opportunity to the places where such art is exhibited, discussed and sold - like London, New York and Berlin and not where it has been produced. The IHA started its Gentrification Program to counteract this. IHA wants to accumulate capital for the workers on the former Unilever Cacao plantation in Congo through critical art production, since after Unilever sold the plantation to Feronia most plantation workers had no access to clean water, electricity, sanitary installations, or a salary above 1 USD a day. The IHA was evicted from the plantation by Feronia who destroyed the IHA settlement and has relocated to an undisclosed location in Congo.
This special pop-up store of the Institute for Human Activities, an initiative by Renzo Martens, sells a series of chocolate sculptures made by the plantation workers, amongst whom are members of the Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantations Congolaises (CATPC).
The sculptures, all self-portraits of the workers, have been scanned and digitally exported to Europe. V2_ is a production partner in the project and worked with designer Joris van Tubergen to develop 3D printed versions of the sculptures from these scans. The 3D prints were used to create molds used by the award-winning Dutch Pastry Team to cast these self-portraits in the very cocoa that the members of the Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantations Congolaises (CATPC) have produced for global markets for the last century.
The chocolate was supplied by Barry Callebaut, the leading Franco - Belgian chocolate producer, but with added content: feelings, ideas, convictions. The sculptures will generate revenue for Congolese plantation workers through a more lucrative post-Fordist, affective economy. As these plantation workers cannot live off plantation labour, they will now live off artistic engagement with plantation labour.
More on: www.humanactivities.org/institute.