"Missa Luba" residency by Sammy Baloji


L'Art Rue

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Sammy Baloji and Fiston Mwanza Mujila are in residence at L'Art Rue in 2023 as part of the preparation of the Dream City 2023 festival. The first stage of his artistic work will take place in January 2023 in a writing residency in Brussels in the context of the Kunstenfestivaldesarts.

The 'Missa Luba' project is an artistic research process developed by Sammy Baloji, in collaboration with writer and poet Fiston Mwanza Mujila and musicians Pytshens Kambilo and Barbara Drazkov.

The project aims to develop a new chapter of an evolving corpus of works, entitled "Fragments of interlaced dialogues", based on several years of artistic research and production developed by Sammy Baloji in dialogue with a series of Kongo-belonging objects gathered in Europe over the past five centuries.

After many phases in Florence, Paris and other key cities in the history of the Kongo, it is in Utique, Tunisia, that this artistic work brings the artist for the first time. In fact, it was in this city that the first black African bishop was appointed in the 16th century.

Tracing the steps of the first bishop of the Kongo Kingdom and associating all the iconography of the great Congolese heroes and heroines, the writer Fiston Mwanza offers a story in a docu-stylepoetics based on archival research and in various written and photographic sources. Through this writing, the two artists create a new set of works ranging from installation to performance to fiction. The music will be an original composition with guitar and piano, inspired by the missa luba.

Lastly, by revisiting the history of this bishop and assuming what his presence in Utique could have meant, Sammy Baloji and Fiston Mwanza Mujila connect seemingly disparate territories and interests that cross pre and post-colonial eras, building bridges between forgotten histories of the past and contemporary enigmas.

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In 2023 in L'Art Rue


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