How the Global Refugee Crisis Is Impacting and Influencing Artists
In his installations, performances, photography, and watercolor paintings, Barthélémy Toguo explores the regulated flow of people, merchandise, and resources between the developing world and the West. “Men or women are always potential exiles, driven by the urge to travel, which makes them ‘displaced beings’,” he has said. His monochromatic watercolor paintings act as a travel diary, with human-like forms transforming into animal shapes or abstract creatures—formally exploring the notion of border through the mixing of identities. There is a provocative and satirical aspect of Toguo’s practice, in which art and critique are inextricably linked. In “Transit” (1996), he gave a series of performances in airports and train stations, in which he disrupted transit security by carrying bags carved out of wood or wearing a cartridge belt filled with candles.
Cameroonian, b. 1967, Cameroon, based in Paris, France and Bandjoun, Cameroon