Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art - Marvel Exhibit From the 27th of May to the 3rd of September, 2017, the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, will be showcasing a number of props and sets featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As luck would have it, I was fortunate enough to speak to Amanda Slack-Smith, the curator of this marvelous exhibit, who will now tell us a little bit more about it. So Amanda, it's now over to you.

1) How did this exhibit with the 'Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art' come about, and what can visitors expect to see?   The opportunity for us to work with Marvel arose with the filming of 'Thor: Ragnarok' on the Gold Coast last year, with us entering discussions regarding our interest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe set in a museum context.

Overall the exhibition is divided into three thematic strands: ‘Cinematic Assembled’ dissolves the demarcations between individual films and looks at the larger narrative arcs at play within the cinematic universe; ‘Decoding the Universe’ brings these films back together and explores how the characters are connected within the one universe; and ‘Behind the Scenes’ celebrates the pre-production and post-production process, bringing together the work of creative people and departments that make these films possible.

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art - Marvel ExhibitIn person visitors have the opportunity to see the set worn props and costumes they’ve loved on screen, while the exhibition on the whole brings together over 500 props, costumes, artworks, comic books, clips, and interactive experiences from Iron Man (2008) to Doctor Strange (2016), alongside pieces from the set of Thor: Ragnarok, still to be released, including the incredible Asgardian throne room, Hulk’s gladiatorial bed, and a model of the capital city of Sakaar where the film is set.

2) How does film / cinema fit into the museum’s larger perspective?   QAGOMA is an art museum that’s uniquely suited to film-related projects. We are the only facility in Australia to specialize in the presentation of film as an art medium within an art museum environment, offering the opportunity for us to really look at the convergence between cinema and contemporary art and society.

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art - Marvel Exhibit
We were keen to explore Marvel in particular as its singular interwoven universe – currently across 16 films, 17 with the release of Thor: Ragnarok – is changing the way people are thinking about narrative structures and world building in cinema in a really interesting way. In addition to screening a retrospective of the films in our cinemas we are also very interested in looking at the creative processes that underpin this in a more physical way.

3) Were you into comic books as a kid, and if so, who was your favorite superhero?   I really enjoyed comics as a kid, reading Jinty and Archie predominantly because that’s what my older sister was into. Over the years my tastes expanded and now my comic collection includes everything from independent comics to more mainstream stuff.

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art - Marvel Exhibit
My favorite Super Hero character at the moment would be Black Widow. I particularly enjoyed the 2014 Black Widow comic book series by Nathan Edmonson and Phil Noto, which I felt teased out the complexities of her character nicely, and I’ve also found the character compelling in the films. I’ve also really gotten into the recent Black Panther series written by Ta Nehisi Coates as well as the Black Panther: World of Wakanda spin-off written by Roxane Gay.

4) What would you say is your favorite piece on display?   There is something really magical about standing in the Asgardian throne room from Thor: Ragnarok. It’s the closest many of us will come to being on a film set and the fact it comes from a film yet to be released is pretty special. I also had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing the artists who worked on creating the various elements and it was great to get an insight into the interplay between what is real and what is film magic.

Now for any more information please don't hesitate to click on over to the official Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art website, facebook, and twitter pages. And if you do, please feel free to sit back and enjoy the ride. 


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