I’ve never met Sammy Baloji in person. I got to know his work in 2016, when I saw his seminal exhibition in Wiels, Brussels. His videos gave very specific insight in the mining industry in Kongo. His astonishing visual language not only of the videos but also of the photographs were fascinating me.
Sammy does not only produce art, he’s also active as a teacher and he is also involved in the Biennial in Lubumbashi, where he lives. He’s also a co-curator of Congo Stars, an exhibition I recently saw in Graz.
Meanwhile I talked to Sammy on Skype, he decided to work with Lotte Arndt and …. this is one of the courses I’d really like to participate myself… I’m deeply convinced, that learning a “postcolonial dialog” is hard work and needs good teachers, I believe Sammy is one.
"For me, the International Summer Academy is a very special place. The intensive, creative and inspiring atmosphere in all our activities never ceases to fascinate me. Artists come to us – as teachers and students – from all over the world, taking advantage of this summer time-slot to concentrate exclusively on production, reflection and presentation, far removed from their everyday life. Disillusionment and re-enchantment, downfall and upswing – all this is possible; there emerge not only exceptional works of art, but also friendships and networks that often last a lifetime. The long-term project Global/Planetary Academy is at present my main objective. Its aim is to further establish the Summer Academy as a hotspot for global art, tackling relevant questions and strengthening worldwide connections. The project focuses on questions of how art can be learned and taught in the globalised world."