The ”Satan of Light” is up to his tricks in front of the corrugated iron huts of the dirty markets on the dusty streets of Kinshasa. He has two horns on his head, his face is a grimace and many children fearfully run away at the sight of him. This is where documentary filmmaker Renaud Barret encounters a group of fascinating artists who are creating art on, and for, the street.
Known as Freddy, Béni, Kongo Astronaute, Strombo, Majesktik, Kokoko! and Geraldine among others, these people are bringing sculptures, paintings, performances and interventions into public spaces far removed from international attention and the art market. Their materials include old bullet cases, plastic waste, electronic scrap, smoke, monkey skulls, wax, blood, machetes and their own bodies. Their art is spectacular and political. Their topics are exploitation, the privatisation of water, personal and national traumas and also, as a constant, the history of the Congo. In his film, Barret shows us Kinshasa, a metropolis in which art is otherwise considered to be an unaffordable luxury, as the location of a passionate and vibrant subculture that has claimed the city as its stage.
Thierry Commissionat, Guillaume Vincent, Benoit Tschieret, Renaud Barret / La Belle Kinoise, Les Films en Vrac
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