THIS IS NOT A WHITE CUBE is pleased to present in Lisbon "WEAVING THE ENTROPY" a SOLO SHOW BY PATRICK BONGOY with new series of sculptural works and paintings from the artist's personal archive.
Curated by Graça Rodrigues and Sónia Ribeiro, the exhibition celebrates and recognizes Bongoy's significant contribution to a critical view of the sociopolitical and artistic art scene in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Patrick Bongoy explores the themes of migration, displacement, and the enormous human cost involved in the struggle for natural resources. Produces his works from recycled rubber strips, evoking dark narratives.
Although resident in South Africa, the artist's work continually refers to his hometown of Kinshasa, DRC, and to explore the broad themes of alienation through the loss of homeland, as well as migration and the resulting effects on identity. In particular, it examines the specific aspects of dehumanization that occur when whole people and communities are plagued by toxic historical narratives, sociopolitical violations, and rapidly degrading physical environments.
My work speaks in responseto the global reality of literal and figurative environmental pollution. Thisencompasses the entire spectrum from the erosion of economic viability forpeople, sociocultural decay impacting on community and individual behavior, andnatural rural and urban landscape.I draw on the history of myroots in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as the irony of contemporaryurban degradation masked as development. Through the recovery of wastematerials such as inner tubes from vehicle tyres, industrial packaging, andtextiles combined with my use of paint and African fabric, I repurpose andreinterpret what others discard. Beyond the intentional recycling element ofthis process, the visual concepts I explore surface a range of pertinentissues.Additional sculpted objectsare superimposed on these layered backgrounds, which I create as a foundationalcanvas. This is also a visual referencing of some of the many laborious tasksundertaken by women in my country, in order to make ends meet. I try tounderstand how the deterioration of natural and urban settings mirrors thevisible rotting, displayed in the behavior and habits of the population.Deprivation evidently continues to recreate further misery and desperation.Although my work reflects a kind of beauty, it alsodescribes the destruction of a place and a people where ethical values havebeen poisoned or fallen away, infecting human morality and dignity. Theaftermath of several violent conflicts has created a nightmarish atmospherewhere people relive those moments in an extreme state of vulnerability andresignation to this state of affairs. My painted figures, alwaysin silhouette, with their deformed limbs and precarious stances, twist and turnin such spaces. They evoke a sense of uncontrolled or dynamic movement capturedin a disjointed moment as if their bodies are mid-execution of a questionableact. However, the internal versus external appearances and perspectives – whatis seen in contrast to what is understood, becomes the site of re-imaginationand unforeseen possibilities.” – Patrick Bongoy