Sammy Baloji
Born in 1978 in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lives and works in Lubumbashi and Brussels, Belgium.
Raised in Lubumbashi, Baloji was sensitised to the colonial history and the postcolonial decline of the once-prosperous mining region of Democratic Republic of Congo. Baloji juxtaposes photographic realities, combining past and present, the real and the ideal, to illicit glaring cultural and historical tensions. He explores architecture and the human body as archives of social history and vestiges of memory. Baloji has enjoyed solo exhibitions at Musée du quai Branly in Paris, France; Mu.ZEE in Ostend, Belgium; and Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium, among others. Widely collected, Baloji has featured in numerous group exhibitions worldwide, most recently selected for presentation at the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy, in 2015. He received the 2014 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative award, partnering with Olafur Eliasson. A Prix Pictet finalist in 2009, he received the Prince Claus Award in 2008, and two awards at Bamako Encounters, the Biennale of African Photography in Bamako, Mali, in 2007.
Sammy Baloji, 'Portrait #1, Kalamata, chief of the Luba against watercolor by Dardenne, Congo Far West: Retracing Charles Lemaire’s expedition series', 2011, Archival digital photograph on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308 gr/m2, edition of 5 + 2 A. P, 100 x 128 cm, Courtesy of the artist and AXIS Gallery |Sammy Baloji, 'Raccord #5, Mine au0300 ciel ouvert noyeu0301e de Banfora', Kolwezi Series, 2011, Digital inkjet print, 80 cm x 231.18 cm (unframed), Edition of 5 + 2 AP, Courtesy the artist and Axis Gallery