SAMMY BALOJI | BIO & CV

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BIOGRAPHY

Sammy Baloji was born in 1978 in Lubumbashi, in the mineral-rich Katanga province of Democratic Republic of Congo. He studied Computer and Information Sciences and Communication at the University of Lubumbashi. With a borrowed camera, he began photographing scenes as sources for his cartoons. He soon enrolled in photography courses in DRC, and continued with photography and video at Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, in Strasbourg, France. Raised in Lubumbashi, Sammy Baloji was sensitized to the colonial history and the postcolonial decline of the once-prosperous mining region of DRC, which Chinese companies exploit today. 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 traces of social history, sites of memory, and witnesses to operations of power. 

Baloji has had solo exhibitions at: Musée du quai Branly, Paris; MuZee, Oostende, Belgium; Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren; and Museum for African Art, NY. Currently Sammy Baloji is featured in documenta 14, Kassel, Germany, and Athens, Greece, directed by Adam Szymczyk,  and curated by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung. He is also in Chinafrika: under construction, at  Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig, Germany, Tous, des sangs-mélês curated by Frank Lamy and Julie Crenn, MAC VAL, Vitry-sur-Seine, France.  Senses of Time: Video and Film-Based Works of Africa, curated by Karen Milbourne and Margaret Nooter-Roberts is currently at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C., having already shown at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, CA, and the Wellin Museum, New York in 2016.  In 2016, his work was also featured in the 11th Shanghai Biennale, and he curated in collaboration with Bambi Ceuppens, Congo Art Works: Popular Painting at BOZAR, Brussels, currently showing at The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia. His solo show that opened in May 2016 at WIELS, Contemporary Art Center Brussels titled Sammy Baloji & Filip De Boeck — Urban Now: City Life in Congo, is currently at the Open Society Foundation, New York, and will travel to The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada and Galerias Municipais/EGEAC in Lisbon. Widely collected, Baloji has featured in numerous group exhibitions worldwide. In 2015 he was featured in “la vie modern” curated by Ralph Rugoff, in the 13th Biennale de Lyon, “All the World’s Future’s” curated by Okwui Enwezor, the 56th International Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, and “Personne et les autres”, curated by Katrina Gregos, the exhibition for the Belgian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. He was also featured in “Africa” at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, “Beauté Congo”, Foundation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris,and “Tech4Change”, curated by Mari F. Sundet, at Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Norway, 2015. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including, the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, 2015,and the 2014 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative award, partnering with Olafur Eliasson. He was nominated a Prix Pictet finalist in 2009, received the Prince Claus Award in 2008, and two awards at the 2007 African Photography Biennial in Bamako, Mali. 

CV

EDUCATION 

2005 Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Strasbourg, France

2003-2005 Université de Lubumbashi, Lubumbashi, DRC.  Information Sciences and Communication

2003-2005 Université de Lubumbashi, Lubumbashi, DRC.  Degree in Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Dept. of Computer Science and Communication

AWARDS

2019 Finalist BelgianArtPrize 2020
2019 Gerbrands Laureate (with collaborator Filip de Boeck)
2019 Nominated Infinity Award, International Center of Photography
2017 Robert Gardner Fellow in Photography, Peabody Museum of Archeology, Harvard University 
2016  Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres
2016 Prix OIF, Dak’Art Biennale
2015  Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship
2014  Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative with Mentor Olafur Eliasson
2013  Shortlisted Visible Award, Fondazione Pitoletto, Fondazione Zegna
2012 The Spiegel prize, Patrick De Spiegelaere Fund.
2012 Nominated, Rencontres d’Arles Discovery Award
2009 Shortlist. Prix Pictet 
2008 Prince Claus Award
2007 Prix Afrique en créations, Travail de création du jeune photographe and Prix pour l’image, Fondation Jean-Paul Blachère. African Photography Biennial in Bamako, Mali. 

COLLECTIONS

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C. USA
Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN. USA
Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, VA. USA
Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, ME. USA
Davis Museum, Wellesley College, MA. USA
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kinshasa & Belgium
Musée Royal de Centre Afrique, Tervueren, Belgium

MuZEE, Kunstmuseum aan Zee, Oostende, Belgium
Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France
Centre national des Arts Plastiques, Paris, France
Musée des Confluences, Lyon, France
Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France
Foundation Sindika Dokolo, Luanda
Foundation Zinsou, Ouidah, Benin
Statoil Art collection, Oslo, Norway
The Walther Collection, Ulm, Germany
U.S Dept. of State, Art in Embassies Collection

FUTURE PROJECTS/EXHIBITIONS

2021

    • African Cosmologies: Photography, Time and the Other. Fotofest Biennial 2020, Houston, TX, USA. March 8 – April 19, 2020
    • Solo exhibition. Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C. September  2021
    • 1,2,3,4, Dance in Contemporary artists’ films. The Glucksman, University College Cork, Ireland. August 17-December 19, 2020

EXHIBITIONS/FESTIVALS/RESIDENCIES/APPEARANCES

2020

 

2019

    • Tell me about yesterday tomorrow, Munich Documentation Centre for the History of  National Socialism on the future of the past, Munich, Germany, November 28, 2019 – August 30, 2020
    • Congo as Fiction. Museum Rietburg, Zurich, Switzerland. Nov, 21, 2019.

    • Travéerses, Chapelle des Augustins /Atelier Canopé, Oct. 12-Feb 28, 2020
    • Things Fall Apart, Art Exchange, University of Essex, Colchester, UK. Nov 8- Dec. 21, 2019
    • Le point du Jour à Cherbourg / Centre d’Art Editeur, Cherbourg-Octeville, France. October 5, 2019
    • Future Genealogies, Tales From The Equatorial Line. Biennale de Lubumbashi 6th edition. Curated by Sandrine Colard. October 24–November 24, 2019
    • Artist Fellow in Residence, 2019/2020 Villa Medici, Rome
    • ..And Other such Stories. 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, 19 Sept. 2019 – Jan 5, 2020. Artistic Director: Yesomi Umolu
    • Nature – between Desire and Reality, Haus für Kunst Uri, Altdorf, Switzerland, 14 September – 24 November, 2019
    • Artist in Residence, Villa Medici, Rome.
    • Africa State of Mind, MOAD, San Francisco. Sep 4 – Nov 15, 2019
    • Extractive Landscapes. An exhibition by Sammy Baloj. Stadgalerie Museumspavillion, Mirabellgarten, Salzburg, Austria

    • Hunting and Collecting. Course lecturer with Lotte Arndt. Internationale, Sommerakademie für Bildende Kunst, Salzburg, Austria. 22 July–3 August 2019
    • The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. April 27 – July 28, 2019.
    • Below the Mountain: Tshibumba Kanda- Matulu and Sammy Baloji. Virgiania Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, VA. Curator: Ashley Duurkop. Exhibition and artist talk.
    • Congo Stars. Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany, March 2019
    • Affective Utopia. Kadist, Paris, France. Feb. 9 – April 21, 2019. Curators: Mónica de Miranda and Bruno Leitão.
    • Film Workshop. Aarhus, Denmark, February 6-8.

2018

    • Lecture presentation, Colby College, Waterville, ME. Nov. 2018
    • Environmental Degradation and the Anthropocene, Bates College,  Lewiston, ME, panel participant. Nov. 2018.
    • Futures Uncertain: Contemporary Art in the Age of the Anthropocene. Keynote Speaker. Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire.
    • Kinshasa Chronicles, MIAM, (International Museum of Modest Arts) Sete, France, October 23, 2018 – June 2, 2019
    • Anthropocenic: Art About the Natural World in the Human Era, Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, Maine, October 26, 2018 – March 23, 2019
    • Sven Augustijnen & Sammy Baloji, Stroombeek Cultuurcentrum, Belgium. October 5 – December 13, 2018 
    • Bodys Isek Kingelez: Perspectives. Panel discussion, MoMA, New York. Oct 1, 2018
    • Africa State of Mind. New Art Exchange, Nottingham, United Kingdom. September 29 – December, 16 2018
    • Congo Stars. Kunsthaus Graz, Austria, Curators: Sammy Baloji, Bambi Ceuppens, Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Günther Holler-Schuster, and Barbara Steiner. September 22, 2018 – January 27, 2019
    • The World to Come. Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL USA. September 18, 2018 – March 3, 2019. Curator:Kerry Oliver-Smith
    • A blueprint for toads and snakes.  Solo exhibition. FramerIFramed, Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 25 – August 26.
    • African Metropolis. An Imaginary City. MAXXI, Rome. June – Nov. 2019
    • Fifty Years of Collecting Photographs: The Extended Moment. The National Gallery of Canada (NGC), May 4 -Sep 16
    • African Mobilities: This is not a Refugee Camp. Architekturmuseum der Tu, (AM) Munich, March, April 26 – August 19, 2018
    • Urban Now: City Life in CongoSammy Baloji & Filip de Boeck Galerias Municipais EGEAC, Lisbon, Portugal
    • Arracher Quelques Bribes Précises au Vide qui se Creuse, Université Renne 2, France, March 30 – April 30, 2018
    • L’un et l’autre. Palais de Tokyo, Paris France, Feb 15, 2018
    • Our Anthropocene: Eco Crises. Center for Book Arts, New York. January 19 – March 31, 2018

2017

    •  Liquid State, Axis Gallery, New York
    • Curatorial Advisory Committee member for 11th Edition of Bamako Encounters.
    • documenta 14Kassel, Germany.
    •  Chinafrika. under construction, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, Germany.
    • Dioramas, Palais de Tokyo, Paris.
    • documenta 14, Athens, Greece.
    • Tous, des sangs-mélês, MAC VAL, Vitry-sur-Seine, France.  April 21 – September 17, 2017.
    • The Absent Museum, WIELS, Contemporary Art Center Brussels. April 20 – Aug 13. 
    • Congo Art Work: Popular Painting. The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia. May 20.   
    • The White Hunter, FM Centre for Contemporary Art, Milan, Italy. March 31- June 6,  2017.
    • AFRIQUES CAPITALES100% AFRIQUES Festival, La Grande Halle, Parc de la Villette, Paris, March 29 – May 28.
    • Sammy Baloji & Filip De Boeck — Urban Now: City Life in CongoOpen Society, Foundations, New York.
    • Senses of Time: Video and Film-Based Works of Africa. Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C, May 18, 2016- September 24, 2017.

2016

2015                

2014

2013

    • Vues des Likasi, Biennale La Otra, Bogota, Columbia.
    • Present Tense, Gulbenkian Foundation Delegation, Lisbon and Paris.
    • Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C.
    • Distance and Desire: Encounters with the African Archive. Part II: Contemporary Reconfigurations, The Walther Collection Project Space, New York. 
    • NO LIMIT 2, une œuvre / un artiste : Sammy Baloji, Mohamed El baz, James Webb. Galerie Imane Farès, Paris. 

2012

    • Kolwezi, Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg, (KVS), Brussels, Belgium

2011

    • Congo Farwest, Artists in Residence: Sammy Baloji and Patrick Mudekereza. Royal Museum for Africa, Tervuren, Brussels, Belgium.
    • ARS 11, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland. Group show
    • Possible Cities; Africa in Photography and Video. Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford College, PA. Group Show
    • Artist Residency, Royal Museum for Africa, Tervuren, Brussels, Belgium.

2010

    • Mémoire, ALE School of Fine Arts & Design of the Addis Ababa Universityin the framework of the first edition of ADDIS FOTO FEST, Ethiopia.
    • Performance and projection in collaboration with Pytshens Kambilo and the women of  Makwacha. Festival des Accroche-Coeurs, Angers, France.
    • Mémoire ihkv Allez Congo! Vlaams Cultuurhuis: De Brakke Grond in collaboration with the Prince Claus Fund.
    • Mémoire. Dilston Grove in partnership with Autograph ABP, London, UK. Solo show. For reviews click here: Telegraph.UK and TimeOut.UK
    • 104 /Cent Quatre, Paris, France. Artist Residency.
    • U.M.H.K. 2008, 14’33, a component of IN/FLUX, a compilation of experimental film by artists from Africa, presented at the New Museum on May 13, 2010 in the 17th New York African Film Festival, in association with Axis Gallery. IN/FLUX is a collaboration between SPARCK, and LOWAVE FILMS, curated by Cedric Vincent and Dominique Malaquais.
    • The Beautiful Time in Lubumbashi: Photography by Sammy Baloji, curated by Bogumil Jewsiewicki, organized by the Museum for African Art, New York. Solo museum show.
    • Vues de Likasi, Contact Gallery, Toronto. Solo show.

2009

    • Vues de Likasi Mois de la Photo in Montreal, Canada.
    • MémoirePérifériks, Art Center of Neuchatel Switzerland.
    • Mémoire Casa Africa, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.
    • Mémoire Arles projection, Prix Pictet 2009.
    • Avenida Vladimir Lenine Panafrican Festival in Algiers, Algeria. Collaboration with Luis Lage, vice-director of the Faculty of Architecture at the University Eduardo Mondlane, and Mauro Pinto, Mozambican photographer.
    • Body and Mask. Royal Museum for Central Africa, (through January 3, 2010), Tervuren, Belgium. Multimedia exhibition on the body and mask in collaboration with the Fondation Jean-Paul Blachere and the Royal  Museum for Central Africa (Tervuren, Belgium) (June 2007) & Apt, France.
    • Mémoire Art Fair in Beijing (2009), China.
    • Mémoire Art Fair in Johannesburg Art Fair, South Africa.
    • Mémoire Center for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona, Spain.
    • Mémoire Ifa Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany.

2008

    • Mémoire MC2A (Cultural Migration Aquitaine Africa), Bordeaux, France 
    • U.M.H.K., 2008, 14 ‘ (video). Subject: Union Miniere du Haut Katanga [Mining Union of Upper Katanga]. Shown: Invideo (International Exhibition of video and cinema beyond Milan, Italy. Festival “The Messenger” (Oct), Cultuurcentrum, Bruges, Belgium) 
    • Mémoire Blachere Foundation, Apt, France.
    • Mémoire Ifa Gallery, Berlin, Germany.
    • Mémoire Getxophoto, Festival International de la Photo Gexto, Spain.
    • Mémoire, 2006, 14 ‘ Film concerning the politicians, governors, and workers amid the ruins of the former economic powerhouse of the DRC (produced in collaboration with Faustin Linyekula, choreographer and dancer). Kabako Studio. Festival “The Messenger” Cultuurcentrum, Bruges, Belgium.
    • Vues de Likasi Piché, Dating image, Indoor Star, Lubumbashi, DRC. Mémoire Museum of Fine Arts in Yokohama, Japan.
    • Mémoire Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Fez, Morocco.
    • Mémoire Art Brussels, Contemporary Art Fair in Brussels, Belgium.
    • Vues de Likasi French Cultural Center in Kinshasa, DRC. 
    • Vues de Likasi Kinshasa, DRC French Cultural Center in Pointe-Noire, Pointe-Noire, Congo. 

2007

    • Mémoire 7th Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie, Bamako, Mali.
    • Mémoire, 2006, 14 ‘ Film.
    • Mémoire, Photoquai 2007, First World Views Biennial, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France.
    • Vues de Likasi, Cultural Center Franco-Mozambican Maputo, Mozambique.
    • Mémoire, Yambi 2007, a cultural program of international cooperation, organized by the French Community of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium.
    • Mémoire, Théâtre Le Tarmac de la Villette, Paris, France
    • Vues de Likasi CAPE07: Contemporary African Culture, Iziko South African Museum, Cape Town, South Africa 
    • Avenida Vladimir Lenine Franco-Mozambican Cultural Center, Maputo, Mozambique (Collaboration with Luis Lage, vice-director of the Faculty of Architecture at the University Eduardo Mondlane, and Mauro Pinto, Mozambican photographer). Avenida Vladimir Lenine, 2007, 9 ‘ Experimental video, day and night on Vladimir Lenin Avenue in Maputo. Shown: Documentary Film Festival, Maputo, Mozambique; Franco-Mozambican Cultural Center Maputo, Mozambique .

2006

    • Mémoire, 2006, 14’, video of the politicians, governors, and workers amid the ruins of the former economic powerhouse of the DRC (produced in collaboration with Faustin Linyekula, choreographer and dancer). Kabako Studio. Shown: Festival “The Messenger” (Oct 2008), Cultuurcentrum, Bruges, Belgium and Festival of African cinema, (Nov 2007),  Apt, France; Documentary Film Festival Dockanema (Sep 2007), Maputo, Mozambique; Yambi 2007, a cultural program  of international cooperation, organized by the French Community of Belgium (Sep-Oct 2007), Brussels, Belgium; Festival International du Film d’Aubagne (Mar 2007). 
    • Mémoire photographs at the House Science and Man, Paris, France.
    • Mémoire photographs at the Royal Flemish Theater, Brussels, Belgium.
    • The Dialogue Series: iii. Dinozord A video insert for a dance performance, representing the dream life of Kisangani inhabitants after the trauma of war (following a residency at Studios Kabako with Faustin Linyekula for the creation of the contemporary dance entitled The Dialogue Series: iii. Dinozord (September-November 2006), Kisangani, DRC. Shown: Festival d’Avignon (July 2007), Avignon, France; Springdance Festival (April 2007), Utrecht, Holland; New Crowned Hope (December 2006), Vienna, Austria; National Theater Fleming (KVS) (December 2006); Brussels, Belgium.
    • Lubumbashi Wantashi Exhibition of 10 photographs of the city of Lubumbashi, component of the exhibition “When Africa is exposed in pictures,” staged in four venues in the 20th arrondissement, Paris, France. 
    • Vues de Likasi Le Cambre Architecture, “Traces,” Espace d’Architecture de la Cambre, Brussels, Belgium, Aubagne, France; CAPE07: Contemporary African Culture, Iziko South African Museum (March-May 2007), Cape Town, South Africa; National Theater Fleming (December 2006), Brussels, Belgium.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Beatrice Didier, Caroline Le Saux and Aude Sinquin. Sammy Baloji : Ce-qui-fut-et-ce-qui-sera. University Rennes 2. 2019

Kinshasa Chronicles, edited by Dominique Malaquais. Éditions de l’oeil, MIAM, 2018

Oliver-Smith, Kerry (ed).The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene, Samuel P Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, 2018

Quinn Latimer & Adam Szymczyk (ed.) documenta 14 – Reader. Prestel Verlag, Publishing group Random House GmbH, Munich, Germany. 2017 Quinn Latimer & Adam Szymczyk (ed.) documenta 14 – Daybook. Prestel Verlag, Publishing group Random House GmbH, Munich, Germany. 2017.

Afrique-Asie:  Arts, Espaces, Pratiques. Dominique Malaquais and Nicole Khouri. Presses Universitaires De Rouen et du Havre. 2016.

Suturing the City: Living together in Congo’s Urban Worlds. Filip de Boeck & Sammy Baloji. Autograph ABP, London. 2016.

Hunting & Collecting – Sammy Baloji. Edited by Lotte Arndt & Asger Taiaksev. MuZee. 2016.

Congo Art Works: Popular Painting, Bambi Ceuppens and Sammy Baloji. Royal Museum for Central Africa, 2016.

Afrique-Asie:  Arts, Espaces, Pratiques. Dominique Malaquais and Nicole Khouri. Presses Universitaires De Rouen et du Havre. 2016.

Personne et les autres, Katrina Gregos & Vincent Meesen, Eds. The Belgian Pavilion, 56th International Venice Biennale.

Mémoire / Kolwezi – Sammy Baloji (DRC). Africalia asbl/vzw and Stichting Kunstboek, 2014.

Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C. 2013.

In/Flux, Vol. II. 2013. DVD. Featuring . Mémoire, 2007, 14’06. Sparck and Lowave Films.

Congo Farwest, Artists in Residence: Sammy Baloji and Patrick Mudekereza. Royal Museum for Africa, Tervuren, Brussels, Belgium. 2011.

Environment and Object in Recent African Art, Frances Young Tang Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY. 2011.

Bogumil Jewsiewicki. The Beautiful Time in Lubumbashi: Photography by Sammy Baloji, Museum for African Art, New York. 2010.

In/Flux, Vol. I. 2010. DVD. Featuring U.M.H.K. 2008, 14’33. Sparck and Lowave Films.