Professor Lyndon Barrois Jr.‘s solo exhibition “Rosette” will be on view at the Carnegie Museum of Art May 5 through August 7. Inspired by his love of the heist film genre, Professor Barrois has created a never-to-be-realized film script featuring two museum conservators who may be forgers. The fictional script will come to life in the museum’s Forum Gallery, using the visual language of Hollywood—film stills, posters, sets, and props—among paintings, sculptures, and objects borrowed from both Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. The exhibition presents a story in which visitors can enter a world of cinema, art, and history.
Barrois’ script takes place in present-day Belgium and explores the country’s colonial history for narrative development. Belgium’s wealth—prominently displayed in its royal and civic buildings, including museums—is evidence of its colonial exploits in present-day Democratic Republic of Congo. In the exhibition, visitors will find an elephant molar, a taxidermy leopard, minerals, and a Flemish carving, all representing ongoing colonial legacies. The story’s protagonists, tasked with caring for objects deemed invaluable to cultural heritage, may be committing forgeries that could sabotage a system of values based on authenticity. By raising questions of authorship, authenticity, and ownership, Barrois asks us to consider what it means to care for these objects physically, culturally, and intellectually.