Born in 1978 in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), he lives and works in Brussels and Lubumbashi. Sammy Baloji explores the cultural, architectural and industrial heritage of the Katanga region in Congo. In order to question official versions of the Belgian colonial history, he has researched in various key archives – for example the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren in Belgium.
History of art (like the watercolourist Léon Dardenne) and documentary photography blend with that of colonialism. His series of photomontages, of revisited albums confront his historical research with the hu¬man and economic actuality (such as the new invasions of these territories by companies from Asia for instance). The juxta¬positions dialogue and his series, such as Congo Far West, Kolwezi, Mémoire, are highly charged with meaning.
During “Têtes modernes”, the cycle of talks and events Chris Dercon, Director of Tate Modern, orchestrated at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, he invited Sammy Baloji and the musician Baloji to a conversation on 24 November 2012. Sammy Baloji is co-founder of the Picha Encounters, a regular international exhibition in Lubumbashi – proof of his profound continued engagement in his home town.
2015 All the World’s Futures, Venice Biennial, Curator Okwui Enwezor, Venice, Italy
2014 The Divine Comedy. Heaven, Hell, Purgatory revisited by Contemporary African Artists, MMK, Frankfurt
2010 The Beautiful Time in Katanga, solo exhibition, Museum for African Art, New York, traveled to Smithsonian Museum,Washington (2012)
2010 Mémoire, Dilston Grove, with Autograph ABP, London, UK
2007 Bamako Photographic Encounters
Photoquai, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris
Smithsonian Museum, Washington D.C.
CNAP Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris
Quai Branly, Paris
Artur Walther Collection, Berlin-New York