A Queen Within – Adorned Archetypes (Touring)
We’re taking a closer look at fashion, art, and female archetypes in our newest exhibition A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes.
Curated and designed by Sofia Hedman and Serge Martynov of MUSEEA, the exhibition features more than 100 articles of fashion, photography, and video, exploring six personality types of a queen, or metaphorically a woman.
The archetypes range from the seductive Enchantress, represented by feathers and lace, to the tenacious Heroine and the life-bringing Mother Earth, clothed in ethically sourced textiles.
And yet, the exhibition looks at the world of fashion through a decidedly progressive lens. While A Queen Within presents the recurring motifs connected with womanhood found in myths and fairy tales of world literature, it also challenges conventional notions of beauty through experimental gowns, headpieces, and jewelry by boundary-pushing fashion designers and artists.
Pieces by Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Hassan Hajjaj, Comme des Garçons, Gucci and Iris van Herpen are on display alongside emerging designers such as Gypsy Sport, Selam Fessahaye, Chromat and Joanne Petit-Frère. The designers daring work brings a fresh and sometimes unexpected perspective to the archetypes in question. For a good example of this, look no further than The Sage. Objects featured in this section include a shirt that allows a deaf person to feel music on their skin and sustainable shoes created from pineapple leaf fibers.
Another example of this exhibition’s refreshing take on fashion can be found in The Explorer archetype section. Differently shaped mannequins, created by Minna Palmqvist, prompt guests to consider their ideas around traditional Western beauty standards, while photography of Louise Linderoth’s designs highlight her work which investigates the way jeans are worn in a static seated position, such as a wheelchair.
“You’ve got to know the rules to break them,” Alexander McQueen said, and that sentiment for intersectional inclusivity and joyful experimentation can be found through this exhibition. “That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.”
A Queen Within. Installation view. Anrealage, Arvida Bystrom & Maja Malou Lyse. Photo Josh Brasted
New Orleans Museum of Art, February – May 2018
Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), Seattle – May – December 2019