Exhibit B | 展品B


Exhibit B lies somewhere between performance and exhibition. 13 tableau vivant installations featuring black performers look at the themes of racism,‘othering’ and the colonial history of Europe in Africa.

This deeply moving work, researched and created by South African artist Brett Bailey, gazes into the hidden Curiosity Cabinets of European racism. It focuses on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Europe’s powers scrambled for Africa’s rich resources, and the continent’s scientists formulated the pseudo-scientific racial theories that continue to warp perceptions, with horrific consequences.

《展品B》是介於表演與展覽之間的藝術表現形式。以黑人表演者為主導的13件場景裝置作品嚴肅審視了關於種族歧视,“他者化”和歐洲對非洲的殖民史三大核心主題。

隱藏在歐洲種族主義背后的神秘藏珍閣到底是什么?通过南非藝術家布特·貝利(Brett Bailey)深入調查研究,这一系列震撼人心的作品将会揭晓答案。展覽回顧了19世紀末20世紀初那些令人毛骨悚然的慘劇,當时歐洲列強們爭先恐後地瓜分非洲富饒的資源,科學家們更是編造出偽科學的種族理論來扭曲事实。

 

Drawing on the ‘human zoos’ and ethnographic displays so popular during this period, this site-specific exhibit places Africans and African asylum-seekers in display cases, unpacking the histories, and turning the gaze back on Europeans.

The entrance to Exhibit B is a sign warning audiences the performance art they’re about to see contains nudity. It somewhat misses the point: this is a show that confronts slavery, colonialism and present-day racism by placing black actors in several tableaux vivants (living pictures). Nudity is hardly the most pressing issue the piece forces us to address.

正因為當時對於“人類動物園”和人種學的關注盛況空前,貝利採用類似的形式——把非洲人和非洲庇護者置於裝置內陳列,揭露歷史傷疤,把矛頭轉向當年那些帝國列強。

展覽的入口處有標示告知本次行為藝術包含裸露的人體。這似乎多少有些避重就輕的意味:因為這是通過場景裝置中的黑人展示來表達奴隸制、殖民主義和當代種族歧視的各種問題,裸體幾乎不是最迫切需要關注的話題。

 

Exhibit B has been compared to the nineteenth-century practice of displaying black people in zoos for European audiences. The artist behind the show, Brett Bailey, has explained Exhibit B as being about objectification:‘What interests me about human zoos is the way people were objectified. Once you objectify people, you can do the most terrible things to them.’

It is a provocative work, the Barbican in London plans to show Exhibit B at the end of September, however, 12,801 people have signed a statement calling for it to be withdrawn. The petitioners describe the Barbican’s involvement as ‘an outrageous act of complicit racism’,because the show is an ‘exercise in white racial privilege’.

拿《展品B》和19世紀在動物園展示黑人的做法相比較,貝利解釋說《展品B》的核心就是關於“物化”:“‘人類動物園’這個話題引發了我的興趣,它是人類被物化的一種方式。一旦把人類物化了,你會對它們做出難以想像的可怕行為。”

《展覽B》在倫敦一經推出就引起了極大的爭議。倫敦巴比肯藝術中心原定在今年九月底的展出計劃,意外的是共計12801人簽署了一份聲明要求其終止展覽計劃。因為展覽内容涉及“白色人種特權下的活动”,請願者甚至把巴比肯藝術中心此次的參與行為称为“共謀種族歧視的荒唐之舉”。

 


 

Tips 小貼士

展覽場地:Barbican Centre 巴比肯藝術中心
展覽時間:23.09.2014-27.09.2014
更多信息:www.barbican.org.uk/theatre