“Considering the environment I grew up in, the country, the continent I come from, the essence of my work cannot reside elsewhere but in protest and critical questioning.”
Barthélémy Toguo’s multifaceted work spans photography, drawing, performance, painting, and video, covering a wide range of ideas, moods, and subjects. Stupid African President 3 shows the artist’s head emerging from the top of a barrel (amateurishly labeled as “Afrika Oil?”) with a two-liter plastic bottle jammed into his mouth. Based on a performance and video of the same name, the photograph conveys a burlesque and tragicomic sense of dependency and desperation emblematic of African countries that find themselves choking politically, ecologically, and economically on this supposedly beneficial and flowing resource.
From the exhibition: Environment and Object
Recent African Art (February 5 – July 31, 2011)