La Bouche du Roi is a multi-media installation, the main components of which are 304 'masks' made from black plastic petrol cans, a CD of sounds and voices, and a short film detailing the lives of motorcyclists who run petrol between Bénin and Nigeria, a form of modern day slavery.

The shape of the installation is based on a famous 18th-century print of the British slave ship, the Brookes, a model of which Wilberforce used in his campaign for abolition. The artist uses cans to suggest the bodies of slaves portrayed in the print.


The artist; The October Gallery.

British Museum

Great Russell Street, London, Greater London, WC1B 3DG
020 7323 8181

Opening times

Daily, 10am – 5.30pm (Fri until 8.30pm) Closed 24 – 26 Dec and 1 Jan