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Massive: The Power of Pop Culture - Dive into MoPOP's Vibrant New Exhibition!

Massive: The Power of Pop Culture
Written by Amalia Kozloff

MoPOP proudly presents Massive: The Power of Pop Culture, a new long-term exhibition opening its doors on Saturday, March 16th, 2024.

Pop culture, a potent force shaping our lives through mediums like books, film, video games, food, TV shows, fashion, and music, is at the heart of MoPOP's mission. We are committed to sharing the stories of both pop culture and emerging influencers—those who challenge conventions and inspire the next generation of innovators.

Curated by MoPOP Curator Amalia Kozloff and Associate Curators Adeerya Johnson and Stefanie Terasaki, with design by Exhibition Graphic Designer Rosie Alyea, Massive reflects the universal themes that pop culture is global, a catalyst for change, and ever-evolving.

Our curatorial approach centers pop culture as a dynamic framework of ideas, continuously shifting and mirroring our multipolar world. This exhibition elevates pop culture as a humanistic pursuit for communicating ideas, exploring the impact of mass media and our interconnectedness across cultures in a time of globalization. In it we identify differences between appropriation and appreciation, highlight the importance of representation, and explore staff and community collaboration, among other essential topics. A dedicated section highlights the vital role of fans in making pop culture vibrant, featuring an innovative K-Pop-inspired interactive. The exhibition also includes engaging films including interviews with the MoPOP community designed to deepen visitors' understanding of pop culture. Another spotlight is a section on preserving and caring for pop culture artifacts, pulling back the curtain on the significant, albeit complex, task our Collections Department undertakes daily.

Massive’s intentional design mirrors the challenge of defining what pop culture means to a global audience within a single exhibition. By bringing together a myriad of shapes, colors, patterns, and textures, and using them to define exhibition sections, the design acknowledges the inherent complexity—and the amalgamated whole—of pop culture itself. It also pays subtle homage to pop culture icons with deliberate shape language (communicating meaning based on familiar shapes), scale (pop culture has a massive impact on our lives), and color selections. This design ensures that Massive: The Power of Pop Culture conceptually breaks from our other exhibitions, maintaining dynamism, inclusivity, and adaptability to current events and cultural shifts.

Featuring artifacts such as Dorothy Gale's dress from The Wizard of Oz, George Clooney's Batman suit from Batman & Robin, and Darth Vader's complete costume from Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, the exhibition highlights MoPOP’s impressive 85,000-object permanent collection, along with a few key loans. These items serve as tangible links to the past and present, connecting us with iconic moments that have shaped pop culture.

While pop culture is challenging to fully encapsulate, doing so remains a crucial part of our mission at the Museum of Pop Culture as we work to connect people globally and transcend boundaries. Massive invites critical thinking about the nuanced definition of pop culture, encouraging visitors to explore its intricate layers and appreciate the threads that bind us in this shared global experience. Massive: The Power of Pop Culture embodies MoPOP's commitment to delivering an immersive, interactive, and inclusive pop culture experience. It invites attendees not merely to observe but to actively engage, explore, and contribute to the ongoing narrative of pop culture's evolution.

More about Massive: The Power of Pop Culture

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About the author

Amalia Kozloff is the Senior Curator at MoPOP.