Ten’s To See: ‘Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition’ at the Design Museum

Let’s not beat around the bush – Camp: Notes on Fashion is the undoubtable winner of the (made-up) award for exhibition of the month, perhaps even the whole year. With a stellar Met Ball pink carpet and a brief insight into what’s hidden between the walls of the Anna Wintour costume centre via the attendees’ Instagram stories, the excitement around the hottest fashion exhibition ticket is yet to simmer down. But perhaps the Metropolitan Museum of Art is tad bit too far for your weekend excursion and a flight to NYC doesn’t really fit into your weekend fun budget? A different kind of camp is actually having its own spotlight right in the middle of London too. Marking the 20th anniversary of the famed film director’s death, Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition explores the creative process of film-making from one of the most visually unique perspectives in the history of cinematography. Told through a complete behind-the-scenes look at iconic scenes of genre-defining films, this is a treat for any Kubrick superfan – and knowing how popular his films are still to this day, it’s safe to say there’s plenty of us.

Just like Kubrick isn’t just your regular film director, this isn’t a regular film director’s retrospective show. Inherently camp in the extravagance of his thoughts, Stanley Kubrick was most known for interpreting literary classics into visual rhapsodies that went beyond just telling the plot. The Shining, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon… Each of his titles offered a totalitarian approach to creating visuals, a satisfactory experience that used every second and corner of the frame to add another element into the storyline. From Hardy Amies suits to Diane Arbus’ photography and all the film paraphernalia (including props, costumes, sets…), Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition is an opportunity to dig deeper into a world that hides so many secrets to great filmmaking, many of which have since become a standard in the industry. If you’ve ever taken a film class, you would have seen at least an element of Kubrick. Now, all these elements have been curated together into an exhibition space worthy of one of Kubrick’s sets.

The global appeal of Kubrick’s work is undeniable. Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition is a travelling show that’s already toured the world, and has now hit the UK soil for the first time; perhaps the most important location for Kubrick’s work as this is where he spent the majority of his life. Just in time for some spring cleaning inspiration, the OCD world of Stanley Kubrick is here for your consideration.

Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition is on at the Design Museum until September 15th. Photographs by Ed Reeve for the Design Museum.


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