There’s art in a museum, and then there is going beyond the “art” to give museum-goers an experience that’s more than the art itself. That’s the goal film and television production designer and Grad Art faculty Patti Podesta (Memento, Bobby, Love and Other Drugs) achieved when designing the Stanley Kubrick exhibition on view through June 30 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
Featuring more than 600 objects, including sketches, costumes, props, cameras, still photos, posters and video clips, the Stanley Kubrick retrospective was originally organized by the Deutsches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt, Germany, in collaboration with the late director’s estate. However, for the U.S. premiere of the show, co-presented by LACMA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Podesta reframed the show.
Her design emerged from “the important notion that one is not seeing the films, which are the art,” said Podesta. “Across images and intimate readings, via fracturing and intensification, through memory and association, one can arrive at a kind of Kubrickian perception. This is the kind of activity museums contextualize so well and that I wanted to provide for my subject.”
From the dresses worn by the twins in The Shining to carefully laid out scripts from Kubrick’s early films, the exhibition flows between films seamlessly, garnering Podesta rave reviews from the The New York Times for her “stunning installation” and its “striking visual tableaus.”
“Kubrick controlled everything,” said Podesta. “With each of his films, he reworked the material so that each one is a whole, a complete environment. For the exhibition, it was important to create an atmosphere for his work, something that people would feel like a sensation.”