Episode 3 - Enjoy Poverty
by Renzo Martens, 2008, 90'
DIRECTOR, SCREENPLAY AND PHOTOGRAPHY: Renzo Martines   SPONSORS: Dutch Film Fund, Flanders Audiovisual Fund, NCDO, Prins, VPRO, Lichtpunt, Fonds Beeldende Kunsten, Prins Bernard Cultuur Fonds
EDITING: Jan de Coster  
PRODUZCTION: Renzo Martens, Menselijke Activiteiten/Peter Krüger, Inti Films    

Schermo dell'Arte - Archivio Film Presented at The Screen of the Arts 2010

For two years, Dutch artist Renzo Martens traveled across the Congo Democratic Republic videotaping the population’s dramatic living conditions and observing how poverty has become one of the country’s economic resources, even more profitable than the markets for natural resources such as cacao and gold. The second film of a theme-based series begun by the artist in 2004, Episode III centers on the neon installation Enjoy Poverty Please, which Martens set up in villages during his journey to attract the natives’ attention, and recounts the artist’s attempt to teach the Congolese to re-appropriate poverty and its benefits. In an attempt to force the mechanisms linked to the power of vision in the world of communication and the image, Martens involves a group of local photographers, turning them into temporary reporters. But his program is doomed to failure, and the imperative-logo of his neon sign slowly becomes a warning: for the Congolese, to accept the
impossibility of rapid change, and for the artist to accept the futility of his mission. Provocative and controversial, the film was first shown in 2008 within the context of Manifesta 7 in Rovereto, and in 2010 at the Berlin Biennial.

Renzo Martens
An artist and filmmaker, he was born in Sluiskil, The Netherlands, in 1973. He lives and works in Bruxelles, Amsterdam and Kinshasa.

Among his one-man exhibitions: Rien ne va plus (De Merodestraat, Bruxelles, 1999); Episode 1 (Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, 2003); Episode 1 (Marres Centre for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht, 2004); Episode 1 (Vtape, Toronto, 2005); Episode III (Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, 2008); Episode III (Gallery Fons Welters, Amsterdam, 2008); Episode III (Wilkinson Gallery, London, 2009).


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