Sammy Baloji

Sammy Baloji

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Bio & Resumé

Lubumbashi, once a Belgian colonial mining town, casts today a pale shadow of its former glory. Baloji collides past and present in his series of large photomontages, entitled Mémoire (2006). He juxtaposes today’s colored industrial landscapes with historical images, drawn from the archives of the local mining company, which memorialize the colonial actors, indigenous and European, who toiled for and benefited from the mines. While the resulting images are indictments of the lasting legacies—social, political, environmental—of colonialism, they recall also the economic benefits produced by the mines and the ruin made of them after independence. Appropriating and assimilating all of this history, Baloji transforms the diverse temporal and personal fragments into a contemporary reading, and he believes this opens a way forward.

“Vues des Likasi” is a dimension-variable photomontage installation of 200 meters of this town in Katanga province. Viewers experience a vast panoramic snapshot of contemporary daily life, set among urban architecture ranging from the grand colonial era to today. 

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Sammy Baloji

Sammy Baloji’s is currently featured in:

The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory revisited by Contemporary African Artists, curated by Simon Njami, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt/Main. March 21 - July 27, 2014.

Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa organized by the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art,  Washington D.C. Opens at the Fowler Museum at UCLA, CA, April 23 - September 14, 2014.

Distance and Desire: Encounters with the African Archive. Part II: Contemporary Reconfigurations, The Walther Collection,

Neu-Ulm, Germany. June 9 2013 - May 17, 2015.