The Human Exhibit - screener

you need a subscription to view this film: subscribe - education only

The Human Exhibit

Performance by Mike Mullins, Film by Peter Flynn

Year: 1984-2012, 20 mins
Code: MM-PF-Human
ISBN: 978-1-922007-27-8

  • Description
  • About the Artists
  • Reviews
  • Embed / Share

‘The Human Exhibit’ is about a man in a cage in a zoo.

Performance artist Mike Mullins spent twenty days in a cage at Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney as the official Homo sapiens exhibit. He lived in the cage twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for twenty days. Mike’s concept was to present the human animal in the context of a zoo to raise a number of issues about the human condition. 
The zoo administration was a key player in the presentation and the official ‘animal signage’ on the cage said it all: 
“The human capacity to change the environment makes Homo sapiens the most dangerous animal in the world”.

How did it feel? Is it right to exhibit a human in a zoo? Are humans animals? Is it art? 
Filmed, directed and edited by Peter Flynn, the archival footage is available for the first time. ‘The Human Exhibit’ is a unique insight into the attitudes of people in the 1980’s and it's a revealing record of a performance art event that became international news.


Mike Mullins is the founding director of the Performance Space in Sydney. In the years 1976-86 he also created a number of small and large scale performances that tested the boundary line between theatre and performance art. More recently he has been the executive producer of cultural and corporate events. Read more about Mike Mullins

Peter Flynn is a national and international awarded writer and director. He uses multi-media, moving pictures and sound to educate, entertain and enthuse. He has written and directed around 400 video programs, Interactive resources, web sites, brochures and booklets over thirty years. Peter has worked with a range of clients - government, big corporations, small companies, community organisations, universities and schools and others.

Share this video

Start at (H:MM:SS) and end at (H:MM:SS)


Embed this video

Start at (H:MM:SS) and end at (H:MM:SS)