Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Röhsska Museum - A Clockwork Orange

I have lived in Gothenburg for over two months now yet I have explored it embarrassingly little.  Whilst most of my friends are on a serious time limit, heading home forever come December, I'm here until June and have felt quite relaxed on the sight seeing front.  This means that, quite shamefully, I have so far only visited one museum, which was the Röhsska Museum of Fashion, Design and Decorative Arts.  I have, however, visited it twice.  The first time was when my cousin visited a few weeks ago and we whiled away a lovely afternoon there.  The second was yesterday, when I popped in to take some pictures of all the things that had caught my eye on the first camera-less occasion.  Whilst at first this seemed rather tedious, in fact I think it might be my new favourite way to 'do' museums.  First, a long and lingering speculation, free from distractions, followed by a quick, snap-happy visit. 

For a relatively small space, the museum is bursting with exciting things, the breadth of which I couldn't possibly cover in just one post.  I'm going to begin with the exhibition of Swedish design from the past one hundred years.  It was slightly difficult to obtain much information regarding the exhibitions because, of course, they were all in Swedish.  From what I could gather though, this exhibition showcased what I can describe best as 'pockets' of culture from the last century, using a model room from the period and placing within it a mannequin wearing typical clothes and props such as key technology and food items of the time. 

I'm not sure I can say quite say favourite, but the scene which caught my eye the most was this one: (I apologise for the bad photography but I'd been shouted at for using my flash by this point.)


I think it is the combination of the type writer, the tea cup, the empty vodka bottle and the almost orthopaedic looking chair but the scene struck me as very reminiscent of 'Home' in Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of A Clockwork Orange.  Given how much the film horrified me (I always joke that the film had a similar effect on me as the Ludovico technique does on Alex in the story.  It isn't much of a joke; my favourite pasta dish has been forever tainted.), I can't say I enjoyed this display exactly, but it certainly stuck with me.

I particularly appreciated the way that design from this period (or at least I assume this period, it was hard to decipher the Swedish plaques as I said) still gives off a very clear sense of modernity, despite the fact that technologically speaking, it is very outdated now.  It's something in the smooth edges and the symmetry of the prints that achieves this, I think.  It just seems to make sense, somehow.   This is something I'm beginning to enjoy in fashion too; not the 70s/80s styles specifically, rather the feeling of them, and I think that this 'feeling' is the most important thing.  I don't want to bore you too much for one night, but in the next few days I'll put together a selection of my favourite pieces at the moment that I believe best carry this 'feeling' of simultaneous modernity and nostalgia.

Good night,

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