You’ve missed it, but if you were worried about Brexit and the world in general, there was an opportunity to buy a Swiss passport at 37 Dover Street in London for two days, the 5th and 6th of October, for the bargain price of 20 euros (cash, and no pounds accepted).
Tom Sachs argues that the Swiss passport is one of the most prestigious in the world, with Switzerland being an EU non-member state, a beautiful mountainous country that blends into three countries – France, German and Italy, and a country which values neutrality and privacy, being, on the one hand, a place where the rich have sheltered their funds (both legal and illegal) and, on the other hand, a country that has been a safe haven to those escaping persecution in other countries.
The room feels slightly sinister, with the old steel desks and swivel chairs having temporarily intruded into the elegant Georgian architecture to create four workstations, complete with old-fashioned typewriters and the clutter of government bureaucracy and cropped-photographs, but yet there is also a modern scanner/copier. On the wall above the fireplace is a Swiss flag and Swiss Emblems are everywhere, plus of course the inevitable cuckoo clock.
American artist Tom Sach’s installation ‘Swiss Passport Office’ at the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac draws attention to the artificiality of barriers. While, in the modern global world, we should be breaking barriers down, political circumstances across the world seems focussed on building them up.