Piece of writing about The V&A Disobedient Objects Exhibiton

I wanted to go to the V&A with an open mind and without preconceived notions so I didn’t peak at any of the works before I went. From the name of the exhibition I thought it sounded like something scientific. When I got to the exhibition the outside of the gallery looked gloomy and was designed to look dark and black and the green text made it look slightly sci fi. There were two great pillars that you had to walk through to enter the gallery, it made it seem more important like you were given a runway to walk down and something hidden beyond was waiting for you. 


I was very surprised to find out when I got into the exhibition and started to look around that it was on a subject topic completely different to what I had originally thought. I was interested to find that the work was about activist social movements. A text from the gallery that sums up the works:

“Many of the rights and freedoms we enjoy today were won by disobedience. Activist social movements have changed our world from the grassroots up, popularising new ideas and values. The objects made as part of these movements have played a key role in those cultural and political changes.” This room was an extreme contrast to all other artwork displayed in The V&A. The room was dark, modern and full of diversity and style. As I roamed around the other rooms in the V&A, the pieces were traditional, I saw traditional sculptures, traditional religious paintings and traditional clothes. The room, Disobedient objects was full of life, interest and spirit, it was an eyeopening experience.


In the gallery the work was spaced out and each work was placed at a different height which gave a different meaning and feel to each one. As I walked in the first thing that hit me was a huge screen displaying moving images with sound, many people stood and watched as some sat down on seats, everyone seemed to be in awe of the clips that were projected, so high above our heads. The placing of the screen gave it such power and importance. The room was very quiet, there was not a lot of talking, and when people did speak it was in hushed tones. Everyone was so quizzical and took their time moving around making sure to analyse every little detail and concept as to not miss a thing. Some people drew from the work, took pictures or notes and some were found confounded to the spot endeavouring to understand its form and become one with the piece. It was a relaxed environment and the people were civil and patient towards one and other.

© Ruth Zoe Andreas, all rights reserved