Baloji's photographic and sound installation analyzes contemporary African identity through the ethnography, architecture, and urban landscape of Likasi. The photographs of the reconstructed streetscape, with its obvious signs of a civilization built before, during, and after the Belgian colonial period, reveal the artist's interest in the daily life of Congolese people. As a result of the strict government ban on photographing public buildings, Vues de Likasi is a rare depiction of the city's cultural and industrial legacies, Encircling the gallery, Baloji's 55 meter long assembled panorama of images documents the city's past within the day-to-day activity of the present, revealing a complex portrait of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Sammy Baloji was born in 1978 and lives in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo. His work has been exhibited extensively in Africa and in Europe, including the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris and the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium. Baloji was recently featured in CAPE07, Cape Town, Le Tarmac de la Villette, Paris, Rencontres africaines de la photographie, Mali and le Mois de la Photo, Montreal. A traveling exhibition of his work is currently in preparation by the Museum for African Art, New York. He was a finalist for the Prix Pictet in 2009, a recipient of the Prince Claus Award in 2008 and received two awards at the 2007 African Photography Biennial in Bamako, Mali. Baloji is represented by Axis Gallery, New York.