Inside a New Exhibition Celebrating London’s Emerging Artists

V&A Creativity. It's What Makes Us.
Creativity. It’s What Makes Us.Courtesy of the V&A

A new short film from the V&A sees mannequins come to life in the South Kensington museum after dark

TEXT AnOther

Premiered today, a new short film from the V&A titled Creativity. It’s What Makes Us. takes us on a cinematic, whirlwind tour of the world’s largest museum of applied arts, decorative arts, and design objects. As seen through the eyes of lead choreographer Max Cookward and a troupe of dancers, the sprawling South Kensington institution is transformed into a space of wonder and magic in the two-minute film – much of which was shot after dark.

“Myself and Georgia [Hudson] were interested in bringing a wildness into the space that challenged the typical ways people moved through galleries,” explains Cookward, who wears a tartan dress by Turkish designer Dilara Findikoglu, which is adorned with silver charms and safety pins, along with their own black Salamon trainers in the film. “Her [Dilara’s] works of art allowed me to step into a genderless fantasy that connected me back to my childhood self,” they say.

Directed by Georgia Hudson, the film opens with a shot of a mannequin wearing the Dilara Findikoglu dress. After some claps of thunder, it comes alive with Cookward wearing the ensemble (think: Night at the Museum, but British) –  “I imagined how embodied versions of the static artworks might move, for instance, bringing to life the sensuality of the Greek god-like sculptures,” they say.

The troupe of dancers – Iona McGuire, Pierre-Antoine Bardot, Tania Dimbelolo and Emma Belabe – journey through the gallery, twirling past iconic art pieces like Virgil Abloh’s Ikea bag, Michelangelo’s David, the Ardabil Carpet, and sheets of William Morris’s wallpaper. “I felt a real connection to the ideas of transformation, wildness and beauty that were present in the film’s treatment,” says Cookward. Above all else, the film champions creativity and self-expression; and with the V&A having a free general admission policy, the museum is quite literally open to everyone.

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