Victoria & Albert London explores the essence of luxury
Co-curated by Leanne Wierzba and Jana Scholze, the show aims to put luxury under the microscope through the examination of over 100 indulgent items that range from the exclusive to the downright bizarre—take, for instance, the diamond made from roadkill and the vending machine stocked with DNA by artist Gabriel Barcia-Colombo as examples of the latter.
More conventional items on show include a laser-cut couture dress by Iris van Herpen, as well as an Hermès Talaris saddle, with the aim being to explore the nature of luxury from a physical, cultural and conceptual viewpoint. “As its title suggests, the exhibition questions the very idea of luxury today,” explains Jana Scholze. “It will challenge common interpretations of luxury, invite close examination of luxury production and extend ideas of what luxury can be.”
As the third and final exhibit in the series organized in collaboration with the Crafts Council, “What is Luxury?” follows on from the highly successful “Power of Making” in 2011 and is certainly poignant given the location of the V&A, which is situated in one of London’s most exclusive areas, South Kensington. What will make this exhibit slightly different though is not merely the focus on luxury consumption, but rather on the interplay between luxury production and our very selves as investors in this process. Spanning across four consecutive spaces, titled “Creating Luxury,” “A Space for Time,” “A Future for Luxury,” and “What is your Luxury?” the exhibit ultimately provides varying interpretations of this ideal, whilst questioning the future of luxury production and the luxury markets.