The way in which we experience the world is constantly evolving. The consumer experience is becoming more and more important and developed, with increased use of technologies that make them smarter, faster and more impactful than ever before.
The V&A’s recent exhibition Savage Beauty celebrated the extraordinary creative talent of Alexander McQueen. This retrospective was stirring and beautiful, celebrating McQueen’s work in all its glory. Looking at the whole exhibition experience however, we fear it failed to push the boundaries of curatorship. It feels as though McQueen’s truly audacious vision could have been more fully realised through technological and visual innovation, especially as the curators had such a wealth of material at their disposal with which to capture the essence of his creativity.
What this exhibition highlights is a huge problem that museums and art galleries are facing – consumers are expecting experiences on multiple levels across several touchpoints. Although museums were originally at the cutting edge of creating incredible experience, the rest of the world has overtaken them. They must now compete with brands such as Punchdrunk’s immersive theatre productions or Bompas & Parr’s flavour based culinary journeys – which both provide truly immersive experiences across multiple platforms.
Therefore, for museums and galleries to push themselves at the forefront of cultural experiences –and maintain it – they need widen their horizons and look beyond their category. Imagine if the next art exhibition you visited is intensely sensorial, or enables you to interact on a personal level with each of the paintings?