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.


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.




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plans to show Exhibit B at the end of September, however, 12,801 people have signed a statement calling for it to be withdrawn.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’.





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展覽場地:Barbican Centre 巴比肯藝術中心


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