previews

  • Sammy Baloji, Deputy Assistant to the Director General’s Office, Batiment Cielux OCPT—The Congolese Office of Post and Telecommunications, Masina Sans Fil, Kinshasa, 2013, ink-jet print, 31 1/2 × 47 1/4".

    “Sammy Baloji and Filip De Boeck—Urban Now: City Life in Congo”

    WIELS Contemporary Art Centre
    Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354
    May 8 - August 14

    Curated by Devrim Bayar

    Urbanity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is marked by a precarious entanglement of colonial past and globalized present, of decrepit infrastructure and formidable social resilience. This spring at Wiels, Congolese artist Sammy Baloji and Belgian anthropologist Filip De Boeck will team up to tackle these incongruities. Investigating what sociologist AbdouMaliq Simone has called “people as infrastructure,” fifty of Baloji’s photographs will illustrate the ways city dwellers organize in and around the seemingly dysfunctional environments of Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, and Fungurume. These photos will be supplemented by two videos by Baloji and De Boeck, profiling an unfinished high-rise in Limete and copper mines in Katanga Province, respectively. A promotional video for La Cité du Fleuve, a development project outside Kinshasa, will serve as a backdrop—revealing machinations for the DRC’s dubiously shiny future. Travels to Galeria Avenida da Índia, Lisbon, Feb. 2017; the Power Plant, Toronto, Sept. 23–Dec. 31, 2017.