Congo Stars does not attempt to trace the historic development or even deliver a definition of what popular painting in the Congo is. It is in fact much more about the dimension of fiction in the writing of its history.
Processes of nation building, facets of social order or the realities of everyday life are the major themes of popular art in the Congo. Painters see themselves as reporters or chroniclers of the everyday. They tell stories and thus offer an alternative historiography, confronting the traditional colonial narrative.
Congo Stars places these popular painters alongside artists who work with installations and conceptually with photo and film, while often tackle the same themes.
Artists include: Chéri Chérin, Bodo, Ange Kumbi, Gosette Lubondo, JP Mika, Maurice Mbikayi, Moke, Chéri Samba, SAPINart, Shula, Maitre Syms, Sim Simaro, and Sam Ilus, among others.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition, Congo Stars at Kunsthaus Graz, Austria (22 September 2018 – 27 January 2019), and at Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany (9 March 2019 – 30 June 2019).
English and German text.