Brett Bailey's London exhibition cancelled

An image of Brett Bailey's 'Exhibit B'. (Franck Pennant, AFP)

An image of Brett Bailey's 'Exhibit B'. (Franck Pennant, AFP)

Campaigners against South African artist Brett Bailey’s Exhibit B have come out victorious in their bid to have the exhibition at the Barbican gallery in London shut down. 

The Guardian reported that the protesters received 20 000 signatures for a protest petition against “complicit racism”. Earlier this month, the Mail & Guardian reported that critics were already baying for the banning of the Exhibit B weeks before it’s opening. 

Exhibit B addresses the history of ethnographic display, “colonial atrocities committed in Africa” and the “racial supremacy by European notions”. In the exhibition, Bailey placed black actors in 12 live tableaux, as though they were “artefacts recreated from history museums” from the 19th century. 

According to the Guardian, 200 demonstrators showed up at the opening of Exhibit B at the Vaults in south London, which was an independent venue hired by Barbican, and blocked both the entrance and the road leading to the building. 

In a statement by Vault, it said Exhibit B performances, up to and including September 27, have been cancelled.


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