Congo Stars presents popular paintings from the 1960s to the present along with contemporary art by artists from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the diaspora. On the basis of numerous loans from Austrian collections, the exhibition presents a kind of fresh and unusual perspective on peinture populaire. The combination of “popular painting” and artistic positions that employ different media can be described as a novelty and is accompanied by the presentation of multimedia documentary material. The whole makes for an almost overwhelming density both visually and in terms of content, a model of the structure of a tropical megacity such as Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The constant flow of information and the chaotic accumulation of different visual impressions conjure up the explosive, electric climate of a big city. The exhibition spotlights and condenses the simultaneity of fact and fiction based on the metaphor of the urban so as to continue writing this history. The show contrasts critical with affirmative positions, factual and unreal features. The great joy of storytelling and the vividly colored, realistic portrayal turn the journey through the exhibition into a kind of three-dimensional comic held together by the Congolese rumba.
Curated by Sammy Baloji, Bambi Ceuppens, Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Günther Holler-Schuster, Barbara Steiner
With works by more than seventy Congolese artists
Congo Stars is a cooperation between Kunsthaus Graz, the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Kunsthalle Tübingen, and Iwalewahaus, Bayreuth, in cooperation with steirischer herbst.
The part of the project taking place at Kunsthalle Tübingen is funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.