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HUMAN ZOO

In "Human Zoo," I venture into the unsettling intersection of race-based science and the historical practice of collecting human specimens, reminiscent of the Victorian era's fascination with categorization and the grotesque legacy of displaying humans as objects of curiosity. This series is a deeply personal and provocative exploration, utilizing my blood, hair, urine, and body parts, each meticulously measured, cataloged, and presented to mimic the 'objective' scientific practices of a bygone era. Through this work, I aim to draw a parallel between my self-examination and the exploitation of individuals like Henrietta Lacks and the subjects of the Tuskegee Experiment—people who were reduced to mere data points by a science that claimed neutrality while perpetuating racial stereotypes and deepening the chasms of classism and racism.

This collection deliberately employs Victorian collection practices—not for the glorification of its methods but as a critical commentary on the dehumanization and objectification these practices represented, especially when intertwined with race. By presenting these elements of myself in the detached, clinical manner historically used to 'study' race, I challenge the viewer to confront the uncomfortable realities of how science has been misused to justify racism and classism. The 'illusion of truthfulness' in my work critiques the veneer of objectivity often afforded to scientific endeavors, questioning the ethical implications and the human cost of such research. "Human Zoo" is not just an artistic endeavor; it's a call to recognize and address the enduring impact of race-based science on individuals and communities, urging a reflection on the narratives we accept as truth and the stories we choose to tell through the lens of science.