Sammy Baloji - K(C)ongo, Fragments of Interlaced Dialogues

From thursday 10 june 2021 to sunday 18 july 2021

Wed. to Sun. 1pm - 7pm (wed. evening schedule 9pm)

Palais des Beaux-Arts (salle Foch)

13 quai Malaquais, 75006 Paris

Major figure on the African artistic scene, Sammy Baloji has been invited by the Festival d'Automne à Paris and Beaux-Arts de Paris, as part of the Africa 2020 season, to present his first solo exhibition in a Parisian institution. Resident at the Villa Medici in Rome in 2019, he presents the results of his research on the political, religious and commercial exchanges that took place between the Kongo kingdom, Portugal and the Vatican as early as the 16th century.

The exhibition brings together two groups of works: a set of drawings and objects made from motifs borrowed from Kongo fabrics, and a selection of tapestries that are part of famous Indian hangings.

Whether by the artist's hand or simply borrowed, these works bear witness to the complexity of a history of exchanges, transactions and exploitation. They show the contextual and institutional effects of a narrative written by Europe and which has in turn treated these works as tools of diplomacy, works of art, ethnographic artefacts or simple decorative elements.

Sammy Baloji was born in 1978 in Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo). He lives and works between Lubumbashi and Brussels. He graduated in Information and Communication Sciences from the University of Lubumbashi and the Haute École des Arts du Rhin. Since September 2019, he has been conducting a PhD research in art at Sint Lucas Antwerpen entitled "Contemporary Kasala and Lukasa: towards a Reconfiguration of Identity and Geopolitics". He was a resident of the Académie de France in Rome - Villa Medici, in 2019-2020.

Over the past ten years, numerous monographic exhibitions have been devoted to his work: Lund Konsthall and Aarhus Kunsthal (2020), Le Point du Jour, Cherbourg (2019), Framer Framed, Amsterdam (2018), Museumcultuur Strombeek (2018), The Power Plant, Toronto and WIELS, Brussels (2016-2017). He has recently participated in several major international events: Sydney Biennial (2020), Documenta 14 (Cassel/Athens, 2017), Lyon Biennial (2015), Venice Biennial (2015).


The exhibition at the Beaux-Arts de Paris is the result of a collective work in which participated:
Lucrezia Cippitelli, art historian, for documentary research on the Italian collections; Anne Lafont, art historian, author of an essay on the contextualization of these tapestries; Jean-Christophe Lanquetin, scenographer, for research and development work around the staging of the exhibition; Inès Di Folco and Elena Valtcheva, for the interpretation of Kongo fabrics on canvas; Cécile Fromont, Associate Professor of Art History at Yale University in the United States and 2020-2021 resident at the Institut d'Études Avancées de Paris // Lighting, Lionel Spycher and William Lambert // Editing, Artcomposit // Exhibition produced by the Festival d'Automne à Paris // In collaboration with the Beaux-Arts de Paris // Event organized as part of the Africa 2020 Season with the support of its Patrons' Committee made up of : Fondation Gilbert et Rose-Marie Chagoury, Orange, Total Foundation, Axian, Groupe Sipromad, JCDecaux, Pernod Ricard, Sanofi, Société Générale, VINCI, CFAO, ENGIE, Thales, Thomson Broadcast and Veolia // With the help of the Cité internationale des arts // With the support of Sylvie Winckler // In partnership with France Culture


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Photo: Sophie Nuytten


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2, 5 or 10 €, the choice is yours!

The ticket office in charge invites each visitor coming to discover an exhibition at the Beaux-Arts de Paris to choose his or her entrance ticket from among 3 proposed rates: 2 €, 5 € or 10 €. Contribute according to your means, your passion and your desire for commitment!

Free of charge (on presentation of a valid receipt):

• under 18 years old

• students and teachers of the National Higher Schools of Art and Architecture of the Ministère de la Culture

• students from member institutions of the University of Paris-Sciences-et- Lettres (PSL)

• students of the École du Louvre

• holders of the Ministère de la Culture card

• Amis des Beaux-Arts de Paris

• card holder : Maison des Artistes, ICOM, ICOMOS, Association française des commissaires d’exposition (CEA)

• journalists

• jobseekers, recipients of minimum social benefits

• civilian disabled and war-disabled (with an attendant)