In memoriam

Blaise Mandefu Ayawo. Photo: Jurgen Lisse, 2024.

Blaise Mandefu Ayawo

9/9/1968 – 29/4/2024

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Blaise Mandefu Ayawo, leading member of the Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC) collective.

Sculptures by CATPC are currently on display at the Rietveld Pavilion as part of the Dutch entry for the Venice Biennale. Blaise’s specific hand can be seen in Mvuyu Libérateur, the iconic sculpture pictured on the posters of the Dutch entry. He also played the White Cube’s lawyer in The Judgement of the White Cube, the film made especially for the Venice presentation.

The opening of the Venice Biennale and the Dutch pavilion was a wonderful apotheosis of a long and valuable process for all involved. This process led to the presentation, highly appreciated nationally and internationally. Unfortunately, during the festive opening week, Blaise suffered a cerebral haemorrhage. After a two-week stay in the hospital in Venice, Blaise’s condition became fatal.

The members of CATPC have now returned to Lusanga and Blaise will be repatriated to be reunited with his family and ancestors.

Blaise leaves behind a family and our thoughts in these difficult times are with them and all the members of CATPC, Renzo Martens, Hicham Khalidi and Human Activities. Blaise left them on a high note. He deserved many more of such highlights.

[lire la traduction française ici]