23 February - 4 June 2023

On-Trade-Off: Charging Myths

Framer Framed, Amsterdam, NL

Artists: Alexis Destoop, Marjolijn Dijkman, Pélagie Gbaguidi, Femke Herregraven, Alain Nsenga, Jean Katambayi Mukendi, Dorine Mokha & Elia Rediger, Musasa, Georges Senga, Pamela Tulizo, Maarten Vanden Eynde

On-Trade-Off is an artist-run project initiated by Picha (Lubumbashi) & Enough Room for Space (Brussels).

The exhibition is a coproduction of Framer Framed (Amsterdam) and Z33 (Hasselt).


Framer Framed
Oranje-Vrijstaatkade 71 1093 KS Amsterdam, NL


On-Trade-Off: Charging Myths, installation view, Z33, Hasselt, Belgium, 2022

“There’s nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns.” —Octavia Butler

How is technological innovation dependent on natural resources?

Our relationship with energy is a theme that is as old and mythical as it is strategic. In this exhibition, the artist collective On-Trade-Off follows the trail of lithium.

Their starting point is Manono in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where the world’s largest stock of lithium ore was recently discovered. The former mining town is a place that hovers between past and present. While the scars of the colonial mining industry are still visible, multinationals launch large-scale mining of lithium, an important resource in the race for green energy.

The artworks zoom in on the global race for raw materials – from exploitation to financial speculation, from raw materials to high-tech products. The ‘Trade-Off’ is a fundamentally unequal exchange. It takes place between technological growth and increasing inequality, between overconsumption and survival, between the precious metals we carelessly carry in our pockets and the hands that extract them from the earth.

The artists focus on co-operation and knowledge sharing and thus offer an artistic counterbalance to the economic logic of extraction and exploitation. Alongside the critical outlook, they also showcase the magic of energy and electricity, the resilience of man and land, and the belief in a new sun.

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