Written by Mathieu Doublet.
The V&A has announced details on the major new exhibition, « Diva », being the first exhibition of its kind to celebrate the extraordinary power and creativity of iconic performers who have made their voices heard from the 19th century to today. The exhibition will showcase over 250 objects drawn from the V&A collection and loans from across the world, spanning fashion, photography, design, costumes, music, and live performance. Through theatrical staging and a sonic headset experience, « Diva » will celebrate the powerful and personal stories of creativity, ambition, and resilience of some the best-known divas, from opera goddesses and silent movie stars to sirens of the big screen and today’s global megastars. The exhibition also looks at how the performer has intersected with society and driven change through their platform and profile for social good and political change, including global civil rights and feminism. The exhibit will demonstrate the phenomenal ability of the diva to transform, inspire and embrace the external and internal forces that contribute to defining, shaping, and worshipping a diva. Delving into the origins of the term « diva » - meaning goddess in Italian - the exhibition will explore how the meaning of the word has been subverted and embraced over time, and how the label has been reclaimed by performers, their fans and wider society.