Artist issues ‘Swiss Passports’ out of a London gallery

The looming cloud of Brexit might be rankling art dealers concerned over the potential impact on the art market, but for some artists it has served as a source of creative inspiration.

For 24 hours from today (5 October), American artist, Tom Sachs, will be issuing Swiss passports from the Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery in London in a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the concept of national borders. The temporary installation, ‘Swiss Passport Office’, will see Sachs pose as a receptionist and issue his version of the Swiss passport in exchange for €20.

Before visitors can get their hands on a passport they will need to have their photograph taken, fill in an application form and answer questions from one of four officials seated at desks. These include questions about their education, income, sexual history and some even more surprising queries such as “Have you ever supported evil?” and “How many of its Instagram followers has the BBC bought?”.

On the cusp of Brexit, as uncertainty grows over the future of freedom of movement, Sachs’ installation asks what the world would be like if we were all global citizens by offering one of the most coveted passports in the world available to everyone. He describes national borders as “an illusion we all live and die by” and believes passports preserve this illusion.

At the moment there’s nowhere better than London to be talking about matters of immigration and national identity“, Sachs stated.

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