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Ex-Centris: A Living Diorama of Fetish-ized Others

Conceived for Liverpool as a sort of experimental ethnography project, Ex-Centris: A Living Diorama of Fetish-ized Others (2002) brings GÀ³mez-PeÀ±a together with a team of performers from Mexico, USA, India, Japan and Britain to present an interactive museum of ‘living dioramas’ that parody colonial practices of representation. These include the ethnographic tableaux vivants found in natural history museums, the freak show, the Indian trading post, the border curio shop, the porn window display, and their contemporary equivalents. The participants in this living museum become ‘inter-cultural specimens’ – charged symbols of cultural difference, reflecting the experiences of those hybridised ‘orphans of the developing world’ who exist beyond nation states. The performance-installation functions both as a bizarre stage set for a contemporary enactment of ‘cultural pathologies’, and as a ceremonial space for people to reflect on their attitudes toward other cultures. It addresses the appropriation of hybridity by corporate multiculturalism and global media, and asks why certain ‘Others’ are demonised, whilst other ‘Others’ are romanticised or eroticised. Bryan Biggs

Project Credits Courtesy the Artists With thanks to: Jon Burke; Cathy Butterworth; Mechelle Flynn; Angus Gunn; La Pocha Nostra, San Francisco; Daniel Brine and Lois Keidan, Live Art Development Agency, Robert Loder


14 September – 24 November 2002


School Lane
L1 3BX