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Artist Talk
Ibrahim Mahama & Renzo Martens
Saturday, October 23, 6 PM

Callie’s will welcome Ibrahim Mahama and Renzo Martens for a conversation about their practices, moderated by Callie’s director Jarrett Gregory.

Artist Ibrahim Mahama is best known for his monumental installations, which have been exhibited internationally at museums and exhibitions, including documenta14 (2017) and the 2015 and 2019 Biennale di Venezia. Artist Renzo Martens is renowned for his controversial films that probe the complexity of human condition in relation to larger political structures such as war and economics. Through different means, Mahama and Martens investigate the ways in which resources and capital circulate globally: who benefits, and who is left behind.

The artists’ conversation at Callie’s will address the international structures that extract resources from low-income countries to the benefit of Western cities and economies, paying special attention to how this inequality finances the art world. Mahama and Martens’ practices posit a reversal of this system. Through the economy generated by their own work, both artists have sought ways to redistribute capital using the system of the art market. The conversation will delve into their topical and important practices, identifying similarities and divergences between the artists’ methods and perspectives.

The conversation between Mahama, Martens, and Gregory will be followed by a screening of Renzo Martens’ recent film White Cube (2020, 80 min.; English subtitles). For those who wish to see the film before the conversation, it will also be screened on Friday, October 22nd, along with Episode III: Enjoy Poverty (2008). More info here.


Ibrahim Mahama

Born 1987 in Tamale, Ghana; lives and works in Accra, Kumasi, and Tamale, Ghana.

Ibrahim Mahama studied painting and sculpture at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi, Ghana. He is best known for his sculptural installations that drape jute sacks over architectural structures like the National Theatre in Accra, or the Arsenale at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Mahama works with materials that tell a story of economy and global trade, crucial areas of inquiry for the artist.

The subject of international recognition, in recent years Mahama has established three cultural institutions in Tamale, Ghana: the Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art (SCCA), Red Clay Studio, and Nkrumah Volini.

Mahama’s work has been exhibited in museums and biennials internationally. In 2017 Mahama was a fellow at the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program. Recent solo exhibitions include Ibrahim Mahama, MdbK, Leipzig (2021); Lazarus, White Cube Bermondsey, London (2021); A straight line through the Carcass of History, 1918-1945, daadgalerie, Berlin (2018); he also participated in documenta14, Athens and Kassel (2017) and the Biennale di Venezia in 2015 and 2019.


Renzo Martens

Born 1973 in Terneuzen, the Netherlands; lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Lusanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Artist Renzo Martens works primarily in film. His practice investigates the economy of inequality and structural poverty. Martens’ controversial film White Cube (2020) chronicles a long-term collaboration in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which the artist has referred to as “reverse-gentrification”. It is an exploration of how the art market can benefit a community of plantation workers that is systematically excluded, and be used to redistribute capital to zones of extraction. His previous film Episode III: Enjoy Poverty (2008) was also filmed in the DRC and explored how images of poverty and suffering are valorized.

Martens’ films have been shown internationally including at the 6th and 7th Berlin Biennial, Tate Modern in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Van Abbe Museum Eindhoven, Kunsthaus Graz, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, as well as at numerous film festivals and on public broadcast channels.

Location: Callie’s at Lindower Str. 20

Saturday, October 23rd

6pm: Conversation with Ibrahim Mahama and Renzo Martens

8pm: Screening of Martens’ film White Cube (2020).
The film has a duration of 80 min.

Please register online in advance using the form below. Registration on-site is possible, capacity permitting.

Admission is free.

On the 23rd, please bring one of the following: proof of vaccination, a negative Covid test from the past 24 hours, or proof of recovery from Covid. Wearing an FFP2 mask is mandatory inside the venue.