Brett Bailey

First Person: Brett Bailey and Berliner Festspiele (Berlin, Germany)

Earlier this month I saw a piece by South African Artist Brett Bailey and it continues to disturb me so I reckon it’s time to blog about it. The piece, part of the Berliner Festspiele Foreign Affairs festival, is a work titled Exhibit B and recreates the unthinkable “human zoos” of the 18th and 19th century with teh intent of shining a light on the ruin of colonialism across Africa. It took place in the eerie, beautiful, catacombs of the Kleiner Wasserspeicher, an ancient water tower, now haunting art gallery and performance space. The brick bunker of the Kleiner Wasserspeicher, built beneath a hill, has petal shaped rooms that curve into one another. The space is cold and dark, but was breathtakingly lit for this production. The rooms were fashioned as museum installations and spect...