press release

The New Barbarians is based on a diorama of the Museum of Natural History of New York. It displays a reconstruction of two Australopithecus, ancestors of the human race, recreated on the basis of some recently discovered footprints that suggest a male and female walking together. This discovery constitutes new evidence that species previous to humans had lasting social relations over three and a half million years ago.

In The New Barbarians, Tim Noble and Sue Webster (Stroud, 1966, and Leicester, 1967, respectively) create a life-size version of these hominids using fibreglass and translucent resin, and lending them their own facial features, thus carrying out peculiar self-portraits in the line of previous works, once again reflecting these artistsÕ interests in human relations.

In the work, the two figures, nude and free of body hair, apparently having a conversation, seem to be the last inhabitants on Earth who are wandering through a post-apocalyptic land, in the middle of a hall (the central exhibit space at CAC Málaga) whose whiteness evokes the sensation of infinity. Their nearly human bodies and expressions approaching a contemplative state lend the work a strange and moving beauty.


The New Barbarians
Tim Noble & Sue Webster