Hans Himmelheber, Masked Figure and Men, DRC, Pende Region, 1939, Scan of a Chalcopyrite from the Kipushi Mine, and Reflection in Mirror thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F , Case DR17

Hans Himmelheber, Masked Figure and Men, DRC, Pende Region, 1939, Scan of a Chalcopyrite from the Kipushi Mine, and Reflection in Mirror

Photograph
Artist/Maker

Sammy Baloji was born and raised in Lubumbashi, in the mineral-rich Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, formerly the Belgian Congo and Zaire). Since 2005, he has been investigating the history and collective memory of the DRC. His multi-media practice explores the urban and industrial heritage of the Katanga region, engaging with the legacies of Belgian colonisation. Baloji has made extensive use of photography in series such as Mémoire (2006), Kolwezi (2009-2011), and The Album (2014). Often presented in montage form, his imagery opens up the histories of resource extraction, colonial exploration, and hunting in the DRC to explore contemporary realities such as China’s investment in African mining. Baloji presents a subtle articulation of imperial history as constitutive of current Congolese identities. He has become increasingly interested in both the positive and negative aspects of the colonial archive.


Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleHans Himmelheber, Masked Figure and Men, DRC, Pende Region, 1939, Scan of a Chalcopyrite from the Kipushi Mine, and Reflection in Mirror (assigned by artist)
Materials and techniques
UV Print on Mirror
Brief description
Photograph by Sammy Baloji, 'Hans Himmelheber, Masked Figure and Men, DRC, Pende Region, 1939, Scan of a Chalcopyrite from the Kipushi Mine, and Reflection in Mirror' from the series Kasala, 2020
Dimensions
  • Frame height: 500mm
  • Frame width: 700mm
Gallery label
This series interrogates the long and brutal history of the exploitation by Europeans of Congolese people, culture and natural resources. Baloji layers images of copper ore mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he grew up, over archival photographs by Hans Himmelheber, a German anthropologist and art dealer, who visited the country in the 1930s. By recontextualising these colonial-era pictures, Baloji highlights their continued relevance. Printed on mirrors, the triptych literally reflects its contemporary surroundings, implicating the viewer in this complex and painful story.
Credit line
Purchase funded by the Photographs Acquisition Group
Summary
Sammy Baloji was born and raised in Lubumbashi, in the mineral-rich Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, formerly the Belgian Congo and Zaire). Since 2005, he has been investigating the history and collective memory of the DRC. His multi-media practice explores the urban and industrial heritage of the Katanga region, engaging with the legacies of Belgian colonisation. Baloji has made extensive use of photography in series such as Mémoire (2006), Kolwezi (2009-2011), and The Album (2014). Often presented in montage form, his imagery opens up the histories of resource extraction, colonial exploration, and hunting in the DRC to explore contemporary realities such as China’s investment in African mining. Baloji presents a subtle articulation of imperial history as constitutive of current Congolese identities. He has become increasingly interested in both the positive and negative aspects of the colonial archive.
Collection
Accession number
PH.402-2021

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Record createdJune 23, 2021
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