V&A Urged to Include Warning in Alice in Wonderland Show Over ‘Japanese Lolita Fashion’

In further news: Solange’s ‘When I Get Home’ film gets museum tour; Cézanne landscapes reunited 140 years later

The Royal Ballet’s Zenaida Yanowsky in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 2011. Courtesy: Royal Opera House; photograph: Johan Persson

The Royal Ballet’s Zenaida Yanowsky in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 2011. Courtesy: Royal Opera House; photograph: Johan Persson

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has been urged to include a warning in its upcoming ‘Alice in Wonderland’ show. The founder of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, Jim Gamble told The Times that a section of the exhibition devoted to ‘Japanese Lolita fashion’ should have a visitor warning to prevent sexualization of children. Gamble said that while he took no issue with the fashion – a subculture which draws on Victorian children’s clothing and Late Baroque aesthetics – an online search for the term would also produce pornographic content. ‘Any paedophile who reads about this, it won’t be too long before they say, “I was just reading about Japanese Lolita fashion”’, Gamble said. Director Tristram Hunt said that the museum would deal with the issue ‘in a sensible, scholarly and respectful manner. You would expect the V&A to do so.’ The exhibition, which promises a ’theatrical staging’ that traces the origins and global legacy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is scheduled to open on 27 June 2020.

An extended version of Solange’s performance art film When I Get Home (2019) is going on tour across US museums and the UK’s V&A this summer. Venues in the US include the MFA Houston, the Brooklyn Museum, LACMA and MCA Chicago. The film will receive a digital release on 5 August. The film was released earlier this year as a visual companion to Solange’s album of the same name – it features shots of Houston’s Rothko Chapel and animations by artists Robert Pruitt and Jacolby Satterwhite, with the latter also acting as a contributing director on the project. Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum, told The Art Newspaper: ‘Solange’s creativity speaks to hard truths and real beauty. Refusing to be put in a box, she’s an artist’s artist whose creativity knows no limits’.

Art historian Fabienne Ruppen has connected two landscapes by Paul Cézanne. Ruppen spent the last seven years applying forensic analysis to 1,400 of the artist’s works on paper, and linked two watercolour paintings through the ways in which their edges had been torn and the paper’s distinctive watermarks – the landscapes, one of the Montagne Sainte-Victoire and the other of a Provencal village, were originally painted on the same sheet of paper. They will be reunited in an exhibition at Luxembourg & Dayan, London, in October.

In gallery news: Mary Mary in Glasgow has announced its closure – the gallery, founded by Hannah Robinson, launched in 2006 with a Karla Black show, and has since worked with artists including Aliza Nisenbaum and Jesse Wine; Peter Saul is now represented by New York galleries Venus Over Manhattan and Michael Werner; and P.P.O.W. Gallery in New York has added painter Hilary Harkness to its roster.

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Janiva Ellis, Catchphrase Coping Mechanism, 2019, oil on linen, 2.2 x 1.8 m. Courtesy: the artist and 47 Canal, New York; photograph: Joerg Lohse

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