With its Brand.New exhibition, the Victoria and Albert Museum is doing more than presenting an arena in which the influence of brands on society can be examined. It is also an attempt to reposition its own identity, making itself as much an exhibit as exhibitor of the show.
'This is no typical, well-behaved V&A show', noted Dominic Lutyens (Independent, 14/10). Some think the V & A has 'lost its way' by engaging in 'an excursion into post modern trendiness' (Richard Morrison, Times, 12/10). Though he concluded that 'the V&A may have got it right', Deyan Sudjic questioned whether brands were probably 'too powerful' to be contained in a museum 'with such a wobbly self-image as the V&A' (Observer, 22/10). However, the museum is trying, in the words of Sarah Gray, V&A head of marketing, 'to position ourselves in a more contemporary way' (Marketing, 6/4). In Alice Rawsthorn's opinion (FT, 21/10), now is the ideal time for the V&A to stage an exhibition on the subject of brand culture as 'the growing cultural power of corporate brands is a hot topic of political debate'.
Analysis and commentary by Echo Research.
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