top of page

Third World Bunfight / Brett Bailey - Event Cancelled

Exhibit B

23 - 27 September 2014

A spokesperson for the Barbican said:


“Last night as Exhibit B was opening at the Vaults it became impossible for us to continue with the show because of the extreme nature of the protest and the serious threat to the safety of performers, audiences and staff. Given that protests are scheduled for future performances of Exhibit B we have had no choice but to cancel all performances of the piece. 

“We find it profoundly troubling that such methods have been used to silence artists and performers and that audiences have been denied the opportunity to see this important work. Exhibit B raises, in a serious and responsible manner, issues about racism; it has previously been shown in 12 cities, involved 150 performers and been seen by around 25,000 people with the responses from participants, audiences and critics alike being overwhelmingly positive. 

“The Barbican has done everything we can to ensure London performances can go ahead – including continued dialogue with protestors and senior Barbican staff meeting with the leaders of the campaign and attending a public meeting to discuss the issues raised by the work. We respect people's right to protest but are disappointed that this was not done in a peaceful way as had been previously promised by campaigners . 

“We believe this piece should be shown in London and are disturbed at the potential implications this silencing of artists and performers has for freedom of expression.” 

Described by Peter Brook as ‘an extraordinary achievement’, this haunting installation sets out to subvert a disturbing phenomenon, turning the notion of exotic spectacle on its head. 

Exhibit B replicates the ‘human zoos’ and ethnographic displays that showed Africans as objects of scientific curiosity through the 19th and early 20th centuries. Translated here into twelve tableaux, each features motionless performers placed in settings drawn from real life. Collectively they confront colonial atrocities committed in Africa, European notions of racial supremacy and the plight of immigrants today. 

As spectators walk past the exhibits one-by-one, to the sound of lamentations sung live by a Namibian choir, a human gaze is unexpectedly returned. 

'An emotional shock that the whole of Avignon [Festival] has been talking about since it opened' Le Monde (France)
Approx 40 mins 

Age guidance 14+ (contains nudity and images of violence) 

This is a promenade performance taking place on several floors. Patrons with reduced mobility are welcome to attend all performances of Exhibit B, but due to the architecture of the building, some access restrictions apply. Please advise Box Office of any access requirements.

This performance takes place at The Vaults, Leake St, London SE1 7NN.

Conceived and directed by Brett Bailey.


Presented by the Barbican.

23 - 27 September 2014

18:30, 18:50, 19:10, 19:30, 20:50, 21:10, 21:30, 21:50

£20 plus booking fee

bottom of page