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Backstage: Selection 1

Start Date 21 September 2002
End Date 4 April 2003
Venue MoMu
Location Antwerp, Belgium
Curator Bob Verhelst
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins on palettes in a backstage space

“Selection I: Backstage” has been conceived as a sample of the MoMu-collection, whereby the public is introduced to the various collections and archival pieces within a scenography created by Bob Verhelst.

The conceptual starting point of the exhibition is the notion of ‘storage’. The storage or repository of the museum is where collection pieces, individually packed in acid-free paper, are stored in climatically optimal conditions, far removed from the damaging effects of light, dust, and dampness. Initially, the costumes were hung in cardboard boxes, but since June 2002, the MoMu storage has been equipped with a modern wardrobe system, so that these boxes are now a thing of the past.

The storage, which reaches from the ground floor to the sixth floor, is the architectural backbone of the museum. But symbolically, too, it serves a special purpose.

Here, the collection pieces are stored side by side, without distinction. They are, as it were, knocked off their pedestal and deprived of the attention they receive during exhibitions. It is a place that seems to allow a moment’s objective reflection, where the pieces can be examined in peace and quiet. But above all it is a place where you might be surprised, where an exquisite item might appear out of an unsightly box. It is this feeling and this atmosphere that we want to recreate in ‘Selection 1’.

Exhibition Website

Exhibition under the lead of
Curated by: Bob Verhelst | Scenographer: Bob Verhelst

Koen de Waal

Images courtesy of  © MoMu Modemuseum Antwerp, photo Koen de Waal