The Architecture of Staged Realities opens in Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam on 4 September 2021. Entire generations have grown up with the norms, values and role models of Disney stories since the first full-length cartoon Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and the opening of the first Disneyland park in 1955. Disney’s imagination, according to him “the model from which reality is created”, enters living rooms even more easily with the rise of the Disney+ streaming service. But what are viewers and visitors allowed to see in this staged reality, and what don’t we see at first glance? How does Disney influence our self-image and the picture we have of our environment and of other people? With the exhibition The Architecture of Staged Realities, curator Saskia van Stein explores the current social and cultural impact of Walt Disney.
A complex sorcerer’s apprentice
Reflecting and subverting a fairytale feeling
In the scenography by Frédérique Albert-Bordenave and graphic identity by Irene Stracuzzi, the exhibition offers visitors an experience that simultaneously reflects and subverts a fairytale feeling. The exhibition features work by artists, designers and thinkers including Bas van Beek, Carlos Diniz, Benjamin Earl, Pete Fung, Oskar Johanson, Clara Lezla, Margit Lukács & Persijn Broersen, Lara Schrijver, Ghita Skali, Helmut Smits, Studio Ossidiana, Pilvi Takala, Simon Wald-Lasowski en Kem Weber.
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Pilvi Takala: Real Snow White (still), 2009. Courtesy of Carlos/Ishikawa, Stigter Van Doesburg and Helsinki Contemporary.
Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács: Mastering Bambi, full HD video, 2010. Courtesy of Akinci.