Currently on display at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, Spectacle: The Music Video is the first ever exhibition to celebrate the artform that was once the bread and butter of MTV. Curators Jonathan Wells and Meg Grey Wells put together an impressive spread of 300 music videos in beautifully designed exhibition.
While most music videos in the exhibition were featured in looped groupings on wall-mounted monitors, the videos that received their own, stand-alone installations were ones that had accompanying props or assets left over from production. For example, the four jumpsuits worn in the video for OK GO’s “This Too Shall Pass” are hung on the wall next to a video monitor. Another corner is filled with a giant model of the anthropomorphic milk carton from Blur’s “Coffee and Tea.” Also on display is a prop from “Tonight, Tonight,” the Smashing Pumpkins’ homage to Georges Méliès’ “A Trip to the Moon.”
Stop motion and 2-D animation are heavily represented in the show. Piles of colorful yarn props comprise an installation for Steriogram’s “Walkie Talkie Man,” directed by Michel Gondry. As one of the most prolific and creative music video directors in the past two decades, Gondry’s work received the most gallery space by far. Another corner is accented with bold LEGO pieces while an accompanying monitor plays “Fell in Love With A Girl,” the iconic music video that pulled The White Stripes into the mainstream.