Barthélémy Toguo (b. 1967, Cameroon), is an artist based in France.
At a time when I often had to make flight transfers at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport, the police systematically searched me. It seemed as though policemen took sheer pleasure in rummaging through my suitcases. So I had the idea of giving them a real opportunity to exercise their talent. Just before returning to France from Cameroon, I sculptured three suitcases out of solid wood which I took as luggage. When I arrived at Roissy the other passengers, surprised and excited, ended up creating a little group around me that alerted security. The police started literally scrutinising my luggage and wanted to open everything. They subjected these three wooden suitcases to an impressive arsenal of X-rays, ultraviolet lights and lasers and then they scanned the three suspect objects on their computer screen. This check took two hours.
Barthélémy Toguo grew up in Cameroon. He lives and works in Paris, Bandjoun and New York. In a series of performances entitled Transit, he draws attention to the unequal treatment of people of non-western nationalities. Toguo’s work has a political dimension as well as humour and a certain form of provocation.
Performance Transit F, Faab Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport Paris, Frankrike