02. Artists

Sammy Baloji

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b. 1978 in Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo); lives and works between Lubumbashi and Brussels (Belgium)

Sammy Baloji’s photographs and videos have their roots deep in the ongoing upheavals in Democratic Republic of Congo: the often invisible consequences of the mining of rare minerals used for electronic components; China’s gigantic investments all over the African continent; and his country’s industrial and cultural heritage.

His photographs have taken out many prizes including the Prince Claus Award, the Spiegel Prize and the Rolex Award and have been shown at the Rencontres d’Arles, the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst (Frankfurt), the Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon/Paris) and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (Washington).

With the support of the gallery Imane Farès, Paris

© Marie-Hélène PLISSARD


La vie moderne

Hunting & Collecting, Création Biennale 2015

Sammy Baloji’s works have their roots deep in the ongoing upheavals in Democratic Republic of Congo. At the macLYON, Sammy Baloji has erected a monumental structure that recalls the old dioramas in museums of natural history. The artist recently collaborated with Chrispin Mvano, a journalist from North Kivu (a war-ravaged province) on a photo album project. The album in question contains old colonial photos taken by Belgian Commander Henri Pauwels during his expedition to the then Belgian Congo, between 1911 and 1913. Baloji took inspiration from these to collect together new montages of photos taken by Mvano and photographs of his own taken against the backdrop of the town of Goma. There are, furthermore, fifteen images and watercolours, reproductions from the American Museum of Natural History in New York, that retrace the steps of an expedition to the then Belgian Congo by the famous taxidermist Carl Akeley, along with pictures showing the construction of the diorama that housed “The Old Man of Mikeno”, one of the first stuffed gorillas in the world. There is also a thirty-two page book, a plan of Commander Henri Pauwels’s expedition to Africa, drawn by Chrispin Mvano, the map used by Carl Akeley on one of his African expeditions, as well as drawings of mineralogical studies by the Congolese metals and mineral trading company, Gécamines.

Installation comprising of:

The Album
Photographic collages, 40 x 55 cm
Metal sculpture, 400 x 550 cm

Hunting & Collecting
Artist’s book, 32 page, 37.5 x 31 cm
Photographic print listing North- and South Kivu NGOs, various dimension
Archival photographs : courtesy American Museum of Natural History, New York, and Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren

Courtesy the artist and Axis Gallery, NY & NJ, and Galerie Imane Farès, Paris

Venues : Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (macLYON)

Getting there

Sammy Baloji 2 photos

© Blaise Adilon

Sammy Baloji
Hunting & Collecting - Création Biennale 2015
La vie moderne | Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (macLYON)

© Blaise Adilon

Sammy Baloji
Hunting & Collecting - Création Biennale 2015
La vie moderne | Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (macLYON)