Sammy Baloji

[Visual Arts]

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.
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Sammy Baloji is the author of the visual for the 49th edition of the Festival and created the limited edition 2020 that you will be able to discover on our online shop in the autumn.