a view into barthélémy toguo’s urban requiem exhibition
image © designboom

 

 

 

okwui enwezor, curator of the 2015 venice biennale, has asked international artists to address the theme of ‘all the world’s futures’. in response, cameroonian artist barthélémy toguo presents ‘urban requiem’, an installation that examines our shared human existence from a standpoint of various world perspectives.

barthelemy toguo venice art biennale urban requiem
barthélémy toguo ‘children are people too’
image © designboom

 

 

 

sited on tall steel ladders are a diverse collection comprising 75 iroko wooden stamp sculptures assembled on tiered shelves, figuratively shaped as human busts. the larger-than-life sized objects each bear a different message engraved into their surface — phrases like ‘children are people too’, ‘je suis charlie’, ‘ferguson is everywhere’, and ‘don’t shoot’. the backwards arrangement of the letter forms allows for a reverse impression to be made when black ink is applied and the stamp is applied to white paper.

barthelemy toguo venice art biennale urban requiem
sited on tall steel ladders are a diverse collection of iroko wooden stamps
image © designboom

 

 

 

the installation acts as a ‘picture of our common heartaches and joys’, toguo says and pays homage to those who encounter and endure injustice. by taking phrases close to the heart of pressing political, social and cultural turmoil and stamping them onto the environment surrounding the visitor, toguo immerses people in this set of international conflicts.

hope
a view into the exhibition
image © designboom

 

 

 

the slogans come from all corners of the globe — from a memorial motto originating in paris to a demonstration plea in the united states — bringing together the problems and perspectives of the world within a single and universal space.

barthelemy toguo venice art biennale urban requiem
the objects are figuratively shaped as human busts
image © designboom

 

 


barthélémy toguo speaks about his work for the 2015 venice art biennale
video courtesy of la biennale di venezia

barthelemy toguo venice art biennale urban requiem
each of the larger-than-life sized objects bear a message engraved into their surface
image © designboom

barthelemy toguo venice art biennale urban requiem
the backwards arrangement of the letter forms allows for a reverse impression to be made
image © designboom

 

barthélémy toguo's human bust stamp sculptures create an urban requiem
‘end police brutality’
image © designboom

barthélémy toguo's human bust stamp sculptures create an urban requiem
‘we protest against the deprivation of basic human rights’
image © designboom

barthélémy toguo's human bust stamp sculptures create an urban requiem
‘stop lampedusa’
image © designboom

barthélémy toguo's human bust stamp sculptures create an urban requiem
the stamps create graphic typographic compositions placed on to the wall
image © designboom

barthélémy toguo's human bust stamp sculptures create an urban requiem
an almost wallpapered texture canvasses the gallery wall
image © designboom

 

 

 

barthélémy toguo
was born in 1967 in cameroon. toguo is a multidisciplinary artist, his works is exhibited worldwide. he lives and works between bandjoun, new york and paris. in 2008, he founded bandjoun tation, an artist residence focusing on artistic exchanges located in the highlands of western cameroon.