Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Was the Met's McQueen Show Just Camp with Cruddy Techno?

We cannot call McQueen an artist and simultaneously show his art in such a silly way. His talents were in tailoring, draping, volume, etc—and "Savage Beauty" obfuscates those talents by placing his beautiful clothes in a relentlessly cheesy, cartoonish sideshow, part mausoleum, part Hot Topic. The "Savage Beauty" exhibit with all its smoke and burnished mirrors, its gothic display cubbies, its spinning mannequins, supposedly menacing heartbeat sounds and–worst of all–pumping techno music do nothing but distract from why we are celebrating McQueen in the first place. Essentially, "Savage Beauty" is not about McQueen’s designs but an act of pinning to him this romantic narrative, a Kurt Cobain story under pumping atmospheric techno.

I'm not sure I entirely agree with this but there are actually some very good points!

9 Comments / Post A Comment

There are a lot of great points but I'm not sure the desire to present McQueen as a serious artists was stronger than the desire to bring in the asses of the masses. Techno is the soundtrack to the asses of the masses ..

lempha (#581)


flossy (#1,402)

That's adorable, someone saw their first fashion exhibition at the Met! Honey if you thought that was bad…

Tulletilsynet (#333)

I never knew about the techno music, so I'm grateful for acoustic insulation. On the brighter side of the decline of Western civilization, I think the Met made some really tasteful choices about which galleries to close off while most of the security staff was diverted to guard those priceless McQueen creations.

Also the method of closing the galleries off was eloquent — dragging a chair in front of the entranceway.

Rosebud (#4,107)

Those talents were obvious if you could get close enough to see the clothes. They way they were presented did nothing to obfuscate his gift for tailoring, etc. I don't remember "pumping" techno music; if it was there, it wasn't as irritating as this review portrays. I loved it.

mishaps (#5,779)

I think some mirrors in a fashion exhibit make sense – those clothes were a 360 experience, and there were places where I was craning my neck trying to figure out exactly WHAT was going on with the draping on the back. The music was a bit much, but I've seen that in several other event-type exhibits; it wasn't particularly egregious here.

The main problem with the show was that the space was too small and too cramped, and they never figured out how to deal with the giant crowds. I get that they were not expecting it to become the Huge Thing that it was, but once you realize that is happening, don't you have an obligation to both the people coming to the show and the people who want to see ANYTHING ELSE on the museum's second floor to manage the crowd/admissions issues better?

Anarcissie (#3,748)

Art for art's sake, as practiced in museums, and haute couture have different intentions and different constraints. In a sense they are contradictory. In haute couture, we clothe a living body with something hopefully vital or at least flexible to show how rich and with-it the wearer is. With museum art, will kill the art and put it in a glass case — it becomes a specimen — and expose it to the wondering masses. I suppose it's the best we can do. As one of the masses, I am glad I got a at least a chance to check out the remains of the slain, the corpses of fabulous dragons, like some peasant walking over a great battlefield the day after.

It was too crowded to hear much music or 'music' as the case may be.

Howdini (#11,296)

The exhibit was a magnificent juxtaposition of the transcendent with the annoying.

laloca03 (#8,010)

The same criticism might said of his runway shows, but to my mind, those presentations are not really a showcase of the design so much as they are an effort to sell product on behalf of an army of talent

and the exhibit was not an effort to sell product? please.

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