Press Release

Framer Framed opens a presentation of works by the transnational artist collective On-Trade-Off as they explore how technological innovation is dependent on natural resources. Following the trail of lithium, beginning in Manono, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the exhibition Charging Myths delves into our relationship with energy—from its colonial past to its unequal technological future.



International exhibitions

International Archives 1st half of 2023

On-Trade-Off, Charging Myths

Framer Framed, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

24.02 - 04.06.2023




Taking the recent lithium rush as a starting point, On-Trade-Off explore questions surrounding the connections between raw materials, technological industries, financial speculation, and the history of electricity. How can we think beyond the dividing force of exploitative technologies today and create new spaces for imagination, storytelling, and connection across continents?

With Charging Myths, On-Trade-Off strive to reveal blind spots in the dominant narrative about energy production and distribution by giving form to mutations and by exploring the imaginary potential of the very present moment. The search begins in Manono, 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 more sustainable sources of 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, taking 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. Alongside a critical outlook, the artists showcase the magic of energy and electricity, the resilience of man and land, and the belief in a new sun. On-Trade-Off is initiated by Picha (Lubumbashi) & Enough Room for Space (Brussels).

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

Exhibition design: Katharina Sook Wilting & Tal

Curatorial advice: Ils Huygens

Exhibition 24 February -04 June 2023. Framer Framed, Oranje-Vrijstaatkade 71 - 1093KS Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–6pm.






On-Trade-Off, Charging Myths, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2023. All Rights Reserved

Jean Katambayi Mukendi, The Concentrator, 2022. Photo: Kristof Vrancken. Courtesy of Z33.

Jean Katambayi Mukendi, The Concentrator, 2022. Photo: Kristof Vrancken. Courtesy of Z33.