THE

SEDUCTION PAVILION

CLIENT: FONDAZIONE FASHION RESEARCH
TEAM: BIYUN FENG 
LOCATION: BOLOGNA, ITALY
MARKET: EXHIBITION DESIGN / COMPETITION

Fondazione Fashion Research

Bologna, Italy

FANTASY: STRENGTHENING THE ACT OF SEDUCTION
In celebration of the female form, the seductive power of photography,
and the phenomenon that is the modern day “pin-up girl”, we have
created an exhibit that will transform exhibit-goers from viewers, to
voyeurs, until they begin to merge with the very fabric of the exhibit
itself until, ultimately, the viewers become the very objects being viewed.
Through its use of provocative imagery projected on stretched silk
organza, reflected mirror-like plexiglass, and creative lighting, this
innovative photography exhibit will seduce and consume its
viewers in a world they have never experienced. In coordination
with the Cineteca di Bologna and the Foundation Fashion
Research Italy, we present to you, the Seduction Pavilion.
EDUCATING: HISTORICAL TO CONTEMPORARY SHIFT
We seek to disrupt the traditional photography exhibit and to
re-frame the gratuitous sexualization of the female body into a deeper
appreciation of the elegance of the female form. To do so, we
frame an intimate experience between the viewer and the photos
displayed and highlight the characteristics of each woman,
contributing to a new understanding of seduction throughout history. The
female form is naturally beautiful, powerful, seamless, and graceful,
irrespective of how our conception of beauty and fashion evolves over time.
This exhibit will engage the viewer with the seductive photographs
of femme fatales through an immersive experience. The images, on
their own, are stimulating, but also anonymous and cannot function
as true “seductions” until tension between the images and
the viewer is created. Thus, we have created an elusive environment
that surrounds the viewer so that they feel inside of it, but also
part of it – a theatrical performance that commands the senses.
These women never had their names plastered on billboards. The
studios never sent limousines to their Beverly Hills homes. No one
asked for their autographs or recognized them on the street. And yet
their beauty inspires and seduces all the same. Their carnal displays
cause us to feel what it means to be truly alive. We celebrate this.
DEPTH OF PARTICIPATION: MATERIALITY
As soon as you enter the museum, the exhibit immediately succumbs
you. Musical notes echo throughout the environment while projected
moving images wrap around the perimeter of the exhibition space. In
front of the viewer, layered sheer organza curtains hang from a gridded
ceiling structure, symbolizing harmony, indulgence, and femininity. Unfolding
what’s behind, one must walk through the layers upon layers of
fabric. Amongst the curtains, the viewer then enters the interior of the exposition.
The interior is a sacred enclosure, a sanctuary for theatricality
of those engaged. The Grid-Structure allows for an intimate environment
where the viewer can be secluded with the exhibitor, the femme fatales
and pin-up women. Once in the exhibit, you are free to experience it on
your own, wandering through its display of the theatrical. Behind each
photograph is a reflective plexiglass panel that allows you to engage
and participate in the exhibit and even be enticed by your own reflection
next to images of the seductive women. In adjacent grids, others
engage in their own discovery. For many viewers, the true impact of the
exhibit will be one-layer removed: by experiencing the experiences of
others as they themselves view these images - exchanging glances
through layered fabrics, rotating frames to create light and shadows -
observing, then moving in a performative manner, reclaiming the gaze
in a contemporary cultural context, in their own action of seduction.

© 2019 by Kathleen Estelle Trujillo.