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Baloji Augurism

Start Date 21 October 2023
End Date 16 June 2024
Venue MoMu Fashion Museum
Location Antwerp, Belgium
Curator Baloji and Elisa de Wyngaert
Designer Baloji, Eve Martin
Project manager Rossana Miele
Production Julie Motoi, Marie Vandecasteele
Graphic design Vrints-Kolsteren
Set designer assistants Emilie Nelis-Culot, Lilie Francois, Nico Servais
A glass display case stands in the centre of a gallery, showing a feathered mask, dress, grass and flowers.

This Autumn, the MoMu Gallery will be transformed into a place of magical realism: the world of transdisciplinary artist Baloji.

Born in Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo and based in Belgium, Baloji is a musician, poet, designer and filmmaker. His work confronts Congolese culture – the philosophy, rituals and traditional clothing – while also exploring its connection with European avant-garde and contemporary issues, shaping narratives about the complexity of identity.

Baloji has had synaesthesia for as long as he can remember, which makes him express himself in vivid colours, shapes and textures. In his creative imagination, things may first seem ordinary, but they soon reveal themselves as magical, blurring the lines between what is real and what is imagined.

The exhibition is inspired by Augure (Omen), Baloji’s first feature film, award recipient at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival and the official Belgian entry for the 2024 Oscars. Augurism. is a site-specific project conceived by digging into Baloji’s past and contemporary archives of images, props, costumes and videos: it is about mending the past and dragging it into the present. The exhibition becomes a place to be physically and emotionally immersed in Baloji’s universe.

Baloji’s practice is built on collaboration and dialogue with other artists and craftspeople. The exhibition celebrates his collaborations with such artists as Victor Harris and Jack Robertson, Big Chief and master designer of the Fi-Yi-Yi Mardi Grass Indians, London-based Norwegian artist Magnhild Kennedy or Damselfrau, artist and designer Ben Storms, as well as Brandon Wen, creative director at the fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp.

© MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp, photo Stany Dederen