Toma Muteba Luntumbue, the artistic director of the 4th Biennale of Lubumbashi (October 9 to November 8, 2015), speaks of his goals for the exhibition and his collaboration with cocurator Daniella Géo. Drawing on the “relation politics” of Edouard Glissant, he explains that they sought work by artists who challenge the “tyranny of immediacy” imposed by global capitalism. Whereas earlier editions had focused on photography and video, Luntumbue and Géo opened the selection process to a far wider range of media and centered the exhibition in the Musée de Lubumbashi (with satellite displays in town). The curators invited a number of established artists from Brazil and Europe. Nevertheless, Luntumbue made it his mission to anchor the event in the complex reality of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to take the people of Lubumbashi as his primary audience. He speaks about how the desire for an African biennale has matured since Yacouba Konaté served as the artistic director for Dak’Art in 2005; how the artist may serve as a provocateur in the public sphere, stimulating moral and political discussions; and why self-funding is critical. Contrasting the Lubumbashi Biennale with Beauté Congo, a well-publicized exhibition mounted by the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris, Luntumbue argues for the importance of Congolese self-representation from multiple, complex, and contradictory perspectives.

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