To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Gucci, Creative Director Alessandro Michele curated a unique exhibition in the Gucci Garden gallery on Florence’s Piazza della Signoria – the Gucci Garden Archetypes. Within the Gucci Garden is a garden of archetypes – an immersive and multi-sensory space that recreates the sets of 15 of the most impactful campaigns imagined by Michele in his six years at the helm of the House. The exhibition will be reproduced in seven cities, including Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney, and Seoul.
An archetype is the original form from which all copies are made, never able to be recreated in itself. Similarly, Gucci claims, “every Gucci campaign speaks of a unique and unrepeatable moment – expressing the spirit of each collection, while reflecting the inclusive philosophy, liberated and audacious of Creative Director Alessandro Michele.”
From Tokyo to Los Angeles, and from Northern Soul to May 68, the exhibition features mythical ark-builders, intergalactic explorers, horses, dancers, angels, and aliens all making appearances in this exploration of Michele’s vision. Gucci Garden Archetypes delves into the diverse inspirations from the music, art, travel, and pop culture spheres that resonate through Gucci’s campaigns.
“I thought it was interesting to accompany people in these first six years of adventure, inviting them to cross the imaginary, the narrative, the unexpected, the glitter,” Michele, curator of the exhibition, said. “So, I created a playground of emotions that are the same as in the campaigns, because they are the most explicit journey into my imagery.”
The journey through the exhibition starts at the bottom of a staircase covered in graffiti, a throwback to the Pre-Fall 2018 “Dans Les rues” campaign. The campaign marked the 50th anniversary of “French May,” a surge of protests in France challenging all types of authority. Visitors can enter a mirrored labyrinth to go inside a home like the one at the heart of the Cruise 2016 campaign, take a trip through the breathtaking world of Cruise 2019’s epic community of ark-builders, and ride on an LA subway carriage like the one that made an appearance in the Fall Winter 2015 campaign, the first by Michele.
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The Gucci Garden Archetypes catalog will be the continuation of this journey into the imagination of Michele – a true inventory of the creativity on display and a collection of images and surprises, complemented by original texts by personalities of the cultural scene including art critic Achille Bonito Oliva, philosopher Emanuele Coccia, artist and researcher Anna Franceschini, curator Antwaun Sargent, and sustainability and culture Advisor Shaway Yeh.
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In addition to the Gucci Garden Archetypes, a virtual Gucci Garden space is opening its doors to everyone on Roblox for two weeks from May 17 to May 31. Similar to the physical exhibition, the Gucci Garden experience on Roblox is divided into themed rooms, where visitors can immerse themselves into Michele’s creative vision. Visitors navigate through the virtual Gucci Garden experience with a mannequin. Wandering through the different rooms, visitors’ mannequins absorb elements of the exhibition. “With every person experiencing the rooms in a different order and retaining different fragments of the spaces, they will emerge at the end of their journey as one-of-a-kind creations, reflecting the idea of individuals as one among many, yet wholly unique,” Roblox wrote. Visitors will also be able to purchase and wear exclusive Gucci virtual items directly in the experience.
“While fashion and art may feel out of reach, the metaverse is bringing them closer and making them more accessible for millions of people, building on Gucci’s quest to empower individuals and expanding self-expression to new virtual territories,” Roblox wrote.