Barthélémy Toguo, Bilongue, 2020.
VIP Preview on June 13, 2022, 3:00pm - 8:00pm
Galerie Lelong & Co., New York and Paris, is pleased to announce an installation by Barthélémy Toguo for Art Basel – Unlimited, comprising 45 zingana wood bas-reliefs from the artist’s Bilongue series.
Bilongue is a neighborhood in the suburbs of Douala, Cameroon. Toguo stayed there in 2015 while preparing his work for the 56th Venice Biennale, curated by Okwui Enwezor. He encountered a vibrant population of people from different backgrounds, “survivors” as he described them, who struggled to earn a daily living and defend their meagre possessions from gangs. To survive and overcome, the residents of Bilongue, a sprawling shanty town, developed strong bonds of solidarity. In their honor, Toguo created a Hall of Fame, a portrait gallery that commemorates their lives and struggles. Instead of using photography or painting, Toguo created
a series of zingana wood bas-reliefs that pay homage to the African custom of creating wooden sculptures to commemorate kings and warriors. These 45 panels represent a courageous and determined group of men and women that, in Toguo's mind, are the true heroes of Cameroon.
Barthélémy Toguo has an ongoing solo exhibition Urban Requiem at the Savannah College of Art Design Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia (through July 21, 2022) and his next solo exhibition will open at the Picasso Museum, Barcelona, Spain in fall 2022. The artist currently has works on view in rīvus - The 23rd Sydney Biennale, Australia; Forger / Out of the fire, Dak'Art, the Dakar Biennale 2022, Sénégal; and WITNESS: Afro Perspectives from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection, El Espacio 23, Miami, Florida.