“For what more terrifying revelation can there be than that it is the current moment?” wrote Virginia Woolf in her 1928 time-travelling classic, Orlando. “That we survive the shock at all is only possible because the past shelters us on one side, the future on another.”
These ever-relevant words, and other Woolf passages, would soundtrack the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s next major exhibition, its curator, Andrew Bolton, said at a press launch in Paris on Thursday.
The exhibition – About Time: Fashion and Duration, which opens on 7 May – was conceived to celebrate the New York museum’s 150th anniversary, and will incorporate garments from the institution’s 1870 conception to the present.
Rather than presenting a linear history it will make the case for fashion as something that can distil the current moment while also bending and subverting our concept of time, according to Bolton.
The show’s framework would be the rival “concepts of temporality” espoused by the poet Charles Baudelaire and the…