Bethan Huws, ‘African Sculpture’ (2006)
The Institute for Human Activities (IHA) asserts that even when art critically engages with global inequalities, it most often brings beauty, jobs, and opportunity to the places where such art is exhibited, discussed and sold – London, Venice, New York and Berlin. At its secret artist colony in the Congolese rainforest the IHA aims to make critique profitable in those places that provide artistic content, thus recalibrating art’s critical mandate.
In 2012, the IHA began ‘A Gentrification Program’ on a former Unilever plantation, 800 kilometers from Kinshasa, on a tributary of the Congo River. As Congolese plantation workers cannot live off plantation labour alone, they will now, with the help and support of the IHA, try to live off their artistic engagement with plantation labour. Two small self-portraits, cast in cocoa from a Congolese plantation, are now available for € 39,95.
Self Portrait by Djonga Bismar.
Self Portrait by Manenga Kibwila.
Phyllis Galembo, ‘Kambulo and Kapada (They Start the Dance), Makishi Masquerade, Kaoma, Zambia’ (2007)
Cycladic statue (2700–2300 BC) of the Keros culture. Head from the figure of a woman.
“Since Carla left me, I’ve had to draw for myself every night” by Chris Brans