10:15 AM (EDT)

Gaëlle Crenn

Lecturer, Université de Lorraine

Subverting the Objectification of the Other’s Body: The Tableaux Vivants of Brett Bailey (Exhibit B) and Yinka Shonibare CBE (Jardin d’amour) (in French)

Brett Bailey’s Exhibit B (2000-2014) and Yinka Shonibare’s CBE Jardin d’amour (2007) are two contemporary museum installations that revisit the tableau vivant apparatus, mobilizing the troubled boundary between the living and inanimate in favour of a radical critique of representations of otherness in modern Western societies. They both continue a history of spectacular apparatuses borrowing from the traditions of wax museums, dioramas, even ghost rides. But the trouble that is instilled between the living and inanimate and the play of gazes turned back on the viewer ends up shattering the apparatuses’ functioning, which originally served the ontological submission of racialized and enslaved subjects. Henceforth, the viewing subject is led to reexamine his or her representational frameworks and to question the infiltration of a morbid logic in which the inequalities between a Western subject and the “others” are inscribed.

Gaëlle Crenn is a lecturer in information and communication sciences and a member of the Centre de Recherche sur les Médiations (CREM), Université de Lorraine. A specialist in museology, she dedicated her thesis to simulated immersion apparatuses (Le Biodôme de Montréal ou la nature médiatisée, 2001). Her recent works notably focus on collaborative processes in museums, representations of the other in anthropology museums, scenographic apparatuses to display violence, or the place of emotions in exhibitions (Culture et musées, December 2020).

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