Film Image
The Couple in the Cage
1993
Color
30 minutes
US
Trailer and More
The Couple in the Cage
Over the last five hundred years, non-western human beings have been exhibited in the taverns, theaters, gardens, museums, zoos, circuses and world's fairs of Europe, and the circuses and freak shows of the United States. In commemoration of this practice, video maker Coco Fusco and performance artist Guillermo Gomez-Pena lived in a gilded cage in Columbus Plaza in Madrid for three days in May 1992. Presenting themselves as aboriginal inhabitants of an island in the Gulf of Mexico that was overlooked by Columbus, the video documents "authentic" and "traditional" tasks, including writing on a laptop computer, television, sewing voodoo dolls and working out.
Reviews
“One of the smartest commentaries yet on still-rampant cultural and historical myopia.” - The Los Angeles Times
“A deliciously witty satire about cultural stereotyping. THE COUPLE IN THE CAGE deftly weaves in the history of such exhibits and creates a playful tone that makes the viewer a conspirator, either with the viewers or the caged couple.” - The New York Times
“This provocative tape documents a satire on colonial stereotypes by performance artist Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gomez-Pena during the 500th anniversary of Columbus' voyage.” - Chicago Sun Times
"...a deliciously witty satire about cultural stereotyping ." - Caryn James, The New York Times
"This documentary effectively captures the reactions of viewers to Fusco and Gómez-Peña’s performances. The Couple in the Cage persuasively argues that racism remains pervasive and that colonial ideas continue to influence our approach to non-Western cultures." - Susan Sleeper-Smith, Films for the Feminist Classroom
Screenings
• Atlanta Film and Video Festival, Best Performance Documentary 1993
• New York Film Festival
• XIth Black International Cinema, Berlin
Pricing & Ordering
Buyer Type Format Sale Type Price
Higher Education Institutions DSL 1-year License $150.00
Higher Education Institutions DSL 3-years License $300.00
Higher Education Institutions DVD w/Digital File Sale $600.00
Higher Education Institutions Life Digital File Sale $600.00
Click a 'Price' to add an item to your Cart. For information about Educational Streaming, please fill out this form.

Call Us 1 (212) 947-9277
  • Third World Newsreel
  • • 545 Eighth Avenue, Suite 550, New York, NY 10018
  • • Telephone 212-947-9277

TWN acknowledges that in New York we are on the unceded territory of the Lenni Lenape, Canarsie, Shinecock, and Munsee peoples and challenges the harm that continues to be inflicted upon Indigenous and People of Color communities here and abroad, which is why we all need to be part of the struggle for rights, equality and justice.

TWN is supported in part by the National Endownment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affarirs, New York Community Trust, Peace Development Fund, Humanities NY and individual donors.