The Thinking Eye # 1

Renzo Martens

screenings & talks
Part 1: Renzo Martens

28.03. 2011 - 01.04.2011

@ Careof – Fabbrica del Vapore | Via Procaccini, 4 | Milano

Part 1: Episode 1 & Episode 3 di Renzo Martens (NL)
talk at 7:30pm Renzo Martens and Ivan Bargna
Renzo Martens introduces his work and in conversation with anthropologist Ivan Bargna and the audience discusses questions of representation in art and media.

With the support of:
The Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

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Monday 28 March Kunstverein (Milano), hosted by Careof, presents two films by Renzo Martens (NL 1973) Episode 1 and Episode 3. The event is the first chapter of The Thinking Eye, a series of screenings and talks proposed by Kunstverein (Milano) throughout 2011 in various locations in the city.

The thinking Eye refers to a work, a series for public television, in the early 1980s by Chilean video artist Juan Downey. He uses video technology to address the 'self' through cultural, political and economic systems. The cognitive eye evokes the relativity of perception through a questioning of subjectivity, objectivity and interaction between artist, spectator and subject.

In his practice Renzo Martens examines the role of the camera in places of severe political unrest, conflict or poverty; utilising performance and satire to create pseudo-documentaries that raise questions about the use of journalism, images and media.

For his film Episode 1 (2003, 45') Martens travelled to war-ridden Chechnya and, instead of recording women queuing for food, children in refugee camps, or heavily armed soldiers, he turns the camera on himself, asking them what they thought about him.

For Episode 3 - Enjoy Poverty (2009, 90’), Martens spent about two years in the Democratic Republic of Congo, launching a project that highlights the exploitation of one of Africa's major export products: images of poverty and suffering. Martens erects a blue neon billboard in one of the villages that reads ENJOY POVERTY (in English) while also attempting to "launch a program that would allow the continent's poor to receive restitution for being the poster children for global poverty".

Taking on both the position of the detached (Western) viewer, as well as the role of the investigative journalist or aid worker, Martens reflects on the immense discrepancies between humanitarian aid, economic profit and basic human welfare.

Programme 28 March 2011:
3.00 pm Episode 1
3.45 pm Episode 3
5.15 pm Episode 1
6.00 pm Episode 3
7.30pm Conversation with Renzo Martens and Ivan Bargna