Tuesday, May 14, 2013

#NoPhotosPlease, Time for a Change in #theMet Special Exhibition Photo Policy

#punkexhibit #punkchaostocouture #themet #themetropolitanmuseumofart #punk #couture
#punkexhibit #punkchaostocouture #themet #themetropolitanmuseumofart #punk #couture
It's spring time in NY and fashionistas, actresses, and NY glitterati descended on the Metropolitan Museum of Art last week for the annual Costume Institute Gala.  Despite the open invitation to dress punk, not many guests took up the challenge.  Madonna was the most daring in her Givenchy jacket accessorized with a fish net body suit and pink pumps. Sara Jessica Parker sported a Mohawk hat by Philip Treacy.  Most of the other attendees were a bit of a snooze -- choosing pretty (and conventional) red carpet gowns over punk rock style.

Why punk you may be asking?  The gala marked the opening of the Costume Institute's 2013 show -- Punk:  Chaos to Couture -- an examination of punk's influence on couture.  It was an interesting -- not great -- show.   Like ALL Metropolitan special exhibitions, no photographs were permitted.  Given my current obsession with #Instagram (see my feed @nel234), I -- of course -- had to snap some furtive shots.   In the process discovering that the most explosive thing about the exhibit (aside from the recreation of the #CBGB men's room and the #VivenneWestwood t-shirts (too explicit to post here) was the "no photos please!" from the guards. 

#punkchaostocouture branding #themet
#PunkChaostoCouture Branding
Personally, I fail to see the logic of the Met's policy regarding NO photos in its special exhibits -- particularly given that one can snap freely in the permanent galleries.  I can only guess that they are hoping we will all buy the book -- which I was prepared to do.  Until I saw it that is, at which point I settled for a few small tchotchkes (or curios if you want to elevate them to that status).  It just did not channel the exhibition well enough (unlike the glorious Savage Beauty catalogue from the 2011 retrospective of the late Alexander McQueen's work).  

In an era where the for-profit world is paying "big" bucks to figure out how to generate product buzz via social media, it's pretty silly that an institution that is ABOUT visuals doesn't stream much of anything out in its special exhibitions.  Even sillier when you do a little research and realize that the Met has an official @MetGala and an official @MetMuseum feed over on Instagram (Twitter too).  One can find lots of great art on the @Metmuseum feed -- from the permanent collection but nothing that I could see from any special exhibitions.  

Fashion Note:  Since I'm not a fashionista, I can't presume to comment on the fashion that was included in the #Punk exhibit other than to say that I would have liked a bit more context than the Met chose to provide and the staging was a bit stodgy and disjointed.  That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, just that it could have been better.

Street:  If you are going to the Metropolitan to see the Punk Exhibit, make sure to stop into Street -- a video by James Nares that is accompanied by 3,000 objects from the Met's permanent collection (confession:  I've actually not made it past the video to the objects).  The video is nothing short of amazing.  Watch a short clip here.  

#punkexhibit #punkchaostocouture #themet #themetropolitanmuseumofart #punk #couture #CBGB
#punkexhibit #punkchaostocouture #themet #themetropolitanmuseumofart #punk #couture #CBGB

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