Guy Tillim
Leopold and Mobutu

12 May - 19 June 2004

'the incorruptible Kodak ... The only witness I have encountered in my long experience that I couldn't bribe'

King Leopold in Mark Twain, King Leopold's Soliloquy

Guy Tillim, winner of the 2004 DaimlerChrysler Prize for photography, exhibits his new series of works entitled Leopold and Mobutu at Michael Stevenson. Tillim has visited the Congo region repeatedly over the past three years. Most recently, he spent July - September 2003 photographing traces of the colonial occupation of the Congo by King Leopold II of Belgium's and vestiges of more recent plunder under Mobutu Sese Seko. This latter series of images were taken to accompany a documentary based on Adam Hochschild's book, King Leopold's Ghost, due to be released at the end of 2004.

The exhibition comprises a series of single images and diptychs and triptychs juxtaposing historical sites in the Congo and Belgium with contemporary views of daily life in the DRC.

Tillim's work will be widely exhibited internationally in 2004. His solo show for DamlierChrysler opens in Stuttgart in May and travels to Berlin in June. An exhibition of his recent South African work will open at the SA National Gallery in November 2004 before touring South African public galleries. His works are also included in the large Africa Remix show that opens at the Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, as well as in The Human Condition at the Alternative Museum in New York, in Unsettled at the National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen, and at Galleria Sala I as part of the Rome Foto Festival in May.

Click on the short title to view larger image and full title

Left: Portrait of Henry Morton Stanley
Right: The flagpole at Stanley's house
Left: The terrace at Stanley's house
Right: Mobutu's marble terrace
Centre Malemba Yulu in Kinshasa
Children accused of witchcraft
Left: Memorial to the slaves
Right: Statues from the colonial era
The statue of Henry Stanley which overlooked Kinshasa in colonial times
Left: First editions of Stanley's Darkest Africa
Right: A baobab displaying 19th-century graffiti
The remains of Mobutu Sese Seko's palace at Gbadolite

Left: The Congo River at its lower reaches, Boma
Right: Lake Tumba, September 2003
Left: Merchant ship en route to Matadi
Right: The rapids at Kinshasa
Left: Display case with a portrait of Leopold
Right: A reception hall at Mobutu's palace
Left: The Congo Star
Right: Goma residents salute Laurent Kabila
Left: The entrance to Mobutu's palace
Right: The gardens at the Central African Museum
Left: A colonial-era statue of Leopold
Right: The Central African Museum
The looted remains of Mobutu Sese Seko's residence at Gbadolite
Left: Colonial monument depicting a dead slave
Right: Colonial-era graves at Boma
Left: Accommodation at a mission station
Right: A hotel bed at Boma
Left: Busts of Leopold, his wife and son
Right: A portrait of Laurent Kabila
Left: Statue of a miner
Right: The gold mines at Bunia
Left: Moneychangers at Mubji-Mayi
Right: Diamond buyers at Mubji-Mayi
Left: Guard at the state mine
Right: Independent diamond miners

Gum trees planted in colonial times, Lake Kivu

On the road between Bikoro and Mbandaka

Colonial-era steamboat wreckage at Boma

Young swimmer and a captured bird

Left: Rainstorm at Lubero, eastern DRC
Centre: Rainstorm at Kananga, central DRC
Right: A woman displaced by fighting to Erengeti

Left: Rainstorm at Kananga, central DRC
Centre and right: Solidified lava at Goma

Left: On the train between Kinshasa and Matadi
Centre: The landing strip at Kisangani
Right: The road between Bikoro and Mbandaka

Left: Mai Mai defence militia in training
Centre: Display case at the Military Museum in Brussels
Right: Mai Mai general Vita Katembola

Left and right: People displaced by fighting between rebel groups
Centre: A statue at the Central African Museum

Left: A UN helicopter lands at Bunyatenge
Centre: The model of a Force Publique soldier
Right: Training camp for Mai Mai soldiers

Left: Russian AN-12 cargo plane loading goods
Centre: View from the nose of a Russian transport plane
Right: Landing at Kisangani

Left: Psychiatric hospital in Kinshasa
Right: Portrait of a woman on a headstone

© 2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.