Gallery View, D.I.Y.: Destroy (sourced on Google)
One thing’s for sure, The Metropolitan Museum of Art sure runs a tight ship. At least The Costume Institute does. Between the NO PHOTO rule enforced with an iron fist, the alarm sounding if you even think too hard about a garment, and the security guard’s eyes tracking you like you’re some some poor kid lurking around the candy section of a bodega (they must get a cash bonus or why else?), I get the feeling the Met elders might have missed the whole point of the Punk movement. You know, anarchy and all that shit. But more about that later.
The fashion this year was astounding: Punk is not just a mish-mashed collection of ripped up trashy apparel. Oh no. These pioneering designers in the couture tier were ripping it up and then tailoring it back together like old masters.
I have a brand new respect for Vivienne Westwood, who before this I thought of as almost a mascot of a somewhat irresponsible movement. Up close (don’t stand too close, or the alarm sounds and a hand comes out and slaps you across the face) you see bobby pins holding together garments in a way that is almost godly. The draping. Looking at some of this tailoring I got the feeling that God was less judgmental than the mainstream ‘normals’ back then (and the people working at The Met today). Vivienne Westwood (sourced on Google)
WHAT’S THE INTERNET MOM?
Back to the no photo rule. I really felt like, WTF, why is it I can take photos in every other room at the Met, but not here? Is Maison Martin Margiela’s trash bag dress really more sanctified than Rodin’s ‘Eternal Spring’? Is Alexander McQueen’s bubble wrap dress (made of silk and so killer) that important that it’s likeness can only be captured by the Met’s own photographers and then sold in the gift shop? Oh wait, hang on, now I get it…
… but I don’t think the Met does. Get how the Internet works, I mean. They have computers, right? How do they not realize that within days of opening every angle of that show was indexed on Google and available ad nauseam? I know they’re old, but really? Where do you think I got all the photos for this post?
Rodin’s Eternal spring (l), MMM (r) (both sourced on Google)
Google Headquarters (don’t look at me, that’s what the Internet said…)
NOT A HOBBY, IT’S AN ANXIETY
The thing they don’t get, deep down, is that this whole taking pictures thing is not a hobby, it’s an anxiety. We have these handy (cringe) camera phones attached to us compulsively shoot/sharing anything that’s even slightly interesting or out of the ordinary. It sucks. It’s a total burden. But there it is. We need people to know what we’re doing, especially if it’s cool. And the Punk show is too cool. So you’re setting us up for failure by telling us we can’t shoot – and that’s not cool. You should have SHOOT ALL YOU WANT signs throughout, so we feel free to do what we can’t help doing anyway, without feeling like we’re about to get in trouble. Give us a break. You have nothing to protect, anyway. We don’t want your stuff, but we need the pixels.
So after passing through room one, where not taking a photo of the replicated CBGB bathroom took heroic self control (I felt like I deserved an award) further on through the creepy S+M-video-on-monitors and a facsimile (that’s what the Met calls it; I thought that was like a printer: fax?) of Vivienne’s famous 430 King’s Road SEX Boutique, then through the hallway of awesome where modern and old designers were represented and showing some the most killer wedding dresses on the planet. If I were ever stupid enough to get married…
Until I finally entered the fax of the famous British DIY Destroy warehouse. I had to shoot. Volume off: check, flash off (that one ALWAYS get you): check, iPhone held close to the chest clicking off pictures as I walk: one, two, three, awesome! I made it! Uh oh, a stout female security guard is barrel assing toward me, looking very pissed! How could she have even seen me? I’m thinking she’s going to confiscate my phone, seriously. And/or throw me out. I was thinking, is this actually illegal? Can The Met put a sign up telling us not to do something and if we do that thing, it’s actionable by law? I’m not a lawyer so I wasn’t sure. She firmly said NO PICTURES. I debated on lying and saying, OH I DIDN’T, but figured opening a dialogue would just prolong the engagement. So I quickly apologized and put my phone away, grateful that I still owned it and was allowed to stay. Wait, grateful? That’s fucked up.
fax of CBs (sourced on Google)
But whatever, fascism and all, this show was amazing. Best yet. I loved it so much more than Prada last year or McQueen the year before, and I loved them both, so much. I have never seen so much genius, rule breaking art in my entire life. But the Met missed a huge opportunity by not having it be, within reason, a NO RULES zone. Had they done that we would have experienced the spirit of The Punk movement, as we consumed the material of The Punk movement.
And that would have been Perfect.