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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See 6 Sep 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Barthélémy Toguo

b. 1967, Cameroon

Charged by a number of deeply political themes such as migration, colonialism, and race, Barthélémy Toguo is interested in destabilising common notions of the world by creating representations that are stranger and differently nuanced.

Toguo has found his home in a range of media. In watercolour—a medium he has frequently returned to—he toys with the borders between saturation and drought, between the real and the fantastic, between identities and species. He has described watercolour as a medium 'you cannot cheat' and believes it produces intimate and sincere expressions of the artist's spirit. For 'Baptism' (1999) he created a set of monochromatic images depicting strange scenes in which, for example, feathers sprout from a human silhouette or a man urinates in a bathtub, evoking surreal narratives in which the mundane and the horrific sit side-by-side.

When Toguo was young, his home-country of Cameroon had no arts institutions. He attended Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in the nearby Côte d'Ivoire after a childhood spent drawing market scenes and modelling cargo trucks in bamboo. He later studied in France, discovering a passion for video, photography, and—later, during studies in Germany—performance art. He ultimately settled between Bandjoun and Paris. In Cameroon in 2008, he opened the Bandjoun Station—a non-profit creative workshop—as a grassroots solution to the nation's lack of arts infrastructure.

Toguo's decision to work between continents matches his interest in the relationships between political circumstances. In Urban Requiem–exhibited in the Venice Biennale's 56th International Art Exhibition, All the World's Futures–the artist presented 105 wooden stamps, each carrying a message such as 'DON'T SHOOT' (referring to various racially-motivated shootings in the United States) and 'NOT IN MY NAME' (referring to a protest slogan used after a series of murders of Muslim and Dalit people). The phrases were stamped onto papers pinned throughout the space. This 'urban requiem', according to the artist, represents 'the great cry of those who are suffering'. He calls for a sense of unity, stating, 'The whole world is at stake here'.

Toguo also reflected on global responsibility in his Prix Marcel Duchamp 2016 finalists' exhibition installation, Vaincre le virus! ('Beating the virus!'), which included 18 Jingdezhen ceramic vases depicting viruses, flowers, animals, and self-portraits. The work celebrates research efforts towards curing AIDS and Ebola, with a particular focus on the Institut Pasteur in France and its sister organisation in Dakar. Reflecting on the research of institutions across two countries (France and Senegal) in the symbolism and production methods of a third country (China), the artist showed once again that the world is connected and collectively 'at stake'.

Casey Carsel | Ocula | 2019
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Featured Artworks

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Wouri by Barthélémy Toguo contemporary artwork
Barthélémy ToguoWouri, 2019 Etching
57 x 55 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris
Sanaga by Barthélémy Toguo contemporary artwork
Barthélémy ToguoSanaga, 2019 Etching
47 x 55 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris
Donga by Barthélémy Toguo contemporary artwork
Barthélémy ToguoDonga, 2019 Etching
57 x 53.5 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris
Le chant des amoureux by Barthélémy Toguo contemporary artwork
Barthélémy ToguoLe chant des amoureux, 2011 Watercolour on paper
150 x 510 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris
Exodus by Barthélémy Toguo contemporary artwork
Barthélémy ToguoExodus, 2019 Bicycle, trailer, fabric, plastic jugs, broom
182.9 x 386.1 x 162.6 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
You mustn't let yourself go by Barthélémy Toguo contemporary artwork
Barthélémy ToguoYou mustn't let yourself go, 2005 Watercolour on paper mounted on canvas
115 x 100 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris
Urban Requiem by Barthélémy Toguo contemporary artwork
Barthélémy ToguoUrban Requiem, 2019 Steel ladders, wooden stamps, wood block prints
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Homo Planta B by Barthélémy Toguo contemporary artwork
Barthélémy ToguoHomo Planta B, 2018 Ink and wash on paper laid on canvas
173 x 173 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Barthélémy Toguo, Wouri, Donga, Sanaga... at Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris, Paris
Open Now
5 September–5 October 2019 Barthélémy Toguo Wouri, Donga, Sanaga... Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris, 13 Rue de Téhéran
Contemporary art exhibition, Barthélémy Toguo, Urban Requiem at Galerie Lelong & Co. New York, New York
Closed
15 March–11 May 2019 Barthélémy Toguo Urban Requiem Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Group Exhibition at Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris, Paris
Closed
24 January–2 March 2019 Group Exhibition Group Exhibition Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris, 38 Avenue Matignon

Represented By

In Related Press

Prix Marcel Duchamp 2016: Juxtaposition and Harmony Related Press Prix Marcel Duchamp 2016: Juxtaposition and Harmony Aesthetica Magazine : 6 January 2017

A collaboration between the Association for the International Diffusion of French Art (ADIAF) and the Centre Pompidou, the Prix Marcel Duchamp seeks to bring together the most innovative contemporary artists in France and to encourage new artistic forms.This year, for the first time, all four nominees are exhibiting at the Centre Pompidou....

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Review: Art Basel Miami Beach Related Press Review: Art Basel Miami Beach Art Agenda : 5 December 2016

It has been hard, lately, to think about art. I don’t mean to imply that art isn’t powerful, transformative, or even a necessary distraction. The problem, really, is that it’s been hard to think about anything besides the new president-elect, or how every check I deposit helps fund the poisoning of the sole water supply at...

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Here's the Artist List for the 2015 Venice Biennale Related Press Here's the Artist List for the 2015 Venice Biennale Art News : 6 March 2015

Yes! After months and months of speculation, prayers, and rumors, the Venice Biennale has released the artist list for its 56th edition, “All the World’s Futures,” which is being curated by Okwui Enwezor. At a quick glance, it looks like a thrillingly eclectic list, counting among its participants giants like Bruce Nauman, Adrian...

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