imitation of anti-racist “human zoo» XIX century with black actors as exhibits in the MMSI show in the framework of the controversial project «Exhibit B» South African artist and curator Brett Bailey, who is a part of the festival “Territory ».
A dozen black actors and one Kyrgyz silently stand on pedestals sit in cages and aviaries, lie on the operating table, wear muzzles and get stuck in the Dutch still life.
Project «Exhibit B» is recreated “human zoo”, which were a favorite attraction of Europeans in the XIX century.
White people brought Africans to the fairs and sideshows, laughed at them, experimented, proving racial imperfection blacks and flaws of evolution.
The exhibition itself is made in the genre of “blekspluatatsii” – as films about black people:
good cop stands by, caught the bad guy’s hand – the viewer (of course, white, well-fed and evil).
The story is woven canvas of documentary stories about the planters with baskets of severed hands black, Africans, who were forced to cook the head tribesmen on osvezhevanii and castration, quasi-scientific experiments and racial theories.
For the soundtrack meets choir severed heads – the last chord of the exhibition.
Just a month ago in London performance Brett Bailey – white, by the way, an artist from South Africa, a fighter against apartheid – boycotted the spur of the moment, without having to consider. Almost 23 thousand. People have signed a petition demanding it be banned. Another two hundred activists blocked the display of the art center Barbican: it had to be canceled due to “security threat performers, spectators and staff».
Opponents performance blew the right of the “savages” even today is not to be victims, shouted that silent negros in the exhibition showcase only multiply racial stereotypes.
After their suffering sabotaged parody, and the atrocities of the exploiters turned into a torture attraction.
Supporters, however, rests on the adequacy of the chosen topic and language reminiscent of the Enlightenment and humanistic pathos project.
But the punitive policy of tolerance as a result still turned restrained story about becoming racism discredited show.
After the London stories bans and boycotts have become part of the program. It’s amazing that at the displays in Moscow did not show any Enteo Dmitry and his knights of morality.
«Exhibit B” Bailey was created as a project for export: in 2012, he toured the world festivals.
At first glance the performance really looks Disneyland with bloody historical lining in the form of stories killed, humiliated and insulted.
But in fact, moody colonial discourse combined with provocative program work the same way as the “Mouse” Art Spiegelman –
received the Pulitzer comics about the Holocaust: frivolous, masskultovy format does not discredit the content.
In this case, almost all the characters are looking at the viewer from the top down, as the hosts. This top-down view gives dostoevschinoy (“Yes you killed, Rodion Romanovich, You and killed-a”), birth trauma, which drags on itself not a victim and abuser.
a single character – Kirghiz, brother killed in Moscow expat solo exhibition brings out the philosophical and historical context of the back – in the social, our, Moscow.
Without it, the feeling of belonging to a global catastrophe ( whether the Holocaust or the pogroms in Biryulyovo) would not have arisen and performance would have remained an abstract story from pathetic reflection on humanity and equality.
The exhibition is held at the monosyllabic mechanism, which is actively used by all performers, defies the principle of ” in the presence of the artist, “Marina Abramovic –
game peepers. People turn into artifacts, actors – in the living dead, reproachfully staring into the eyes of unwary viewer.
That’s just it does not identify himself with any character victim nor oppressor with an invisible figure, but remains Gawker, voyeur. So opened cheapness imposed guilt, which in itself is questionable artistic experience. Through it emerges carnival wrong side of any conversation about violence to the high concentration of mournful sighs.
The viewer gets razglyadyvatelya position which has got even in the circus, where finger-pointing and gygykane legalized, and in a butcher’s shop.
This project tells the feeling of this, which is lost in the conversion of circus freaks, first in documentary theater, and then to the objects of art. After all, art is engaged, and the project on the same topic. The only thought that with the help of his “human zoo” broadcasts Bailey, that the Holocaust, the American-baiting “color”, racial policies of the Nazis were not the novelties of the XX century: their invention was preceded by hundreds of years of promoting inequality and other extermination.