Critique in Practice: Renzo Martens’ Episode III: Enjoy Poverty (Sternberg Press: Berlin and New York, 2019)
Editor: Anthony Downey
Associate Editor: Els Roelandt
Investigating the economic value of one of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s most lucrative exports (namely, poverty), Renzo Martens’ provocative film Episode III: Enjoy Poverty (2008) remains a landmark intervention into debates about contemporary art’s relationship to exploitative economies. Throughout Critique in Practice, contributors explore the work’s legacy and how it relates to the politics of representation, uses of the documentary form, art criticism, the deployment of humanitarian aid, the impact of extractive forms of globalized capital, and the neoliberal politics of decolonization. The unconventional representation of acute immiseration throughout Enjoy Poverty generated far-from-resolved disputes about how deprivation is portrayed within Western mainstream media and through global cultural institutions. Using a range of approaches, this volume reconsiders that portrayal and how the film’s reception led Martens to found a long term program, Human Activities.
Contributors: Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, Eva Barois De Caevel, Pieter Van Bogaert, Jelle Bouwhuis, JJ Charlesworth, T.J. Demos, Angela Dimitrakaki, Anthony Downey, Charles Esche, Dan Fox, Matthias De Groof, Xander Karskens, J.A. Koster, Kyveli Lignou-Tsamantani, Suhail Malik, Renzo Martens, Nina Möntmann, René Ngongo, Paul O’Kane, Laurens Otto, Nikolaus Perneczky, Kolja Reichert, Els Roelandt, Ruben De Roo, ka˛rî’ka˛chä seid’ou, Gregory Sholette, Sanne Sinnige, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Emilia Terracciano, Nato Thompson, Niels Van Tomme, Frank Vande Veire, Eyal Weizman, Vivian Ziherl, and Artur Zmijewski, among others.
This volume is co-published by Human Activities, KASK / School of Arts (Ghent), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), and Sternberg Press (Berlin). It is supported by Galerie Fons Welters, KASK / School of Arts, Mondriaan Fund, and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.