The Media Museum – Two Ways

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Regular readers of this blog, will know that I am a fan of the National Media Museum in Bradford. It’s such a great museum anyway, with a fantastic cinema and great cakes that it doesn’t take much to get me through the doors.

I was intrigued by their latest exhibition ‘Stranger than Fiction‘ in which Joan Fontcuberta has ‘documented’ the strange and wonderful in an exhibition, which mixes fact with fiction and science with art. There are six documentary-style sections to the exhibition that seem to seem to convince you that what you are seeing is real.

We decided to go with Chiplet and my brother last weekend to see the Stranger than Fiction exhibit and have a general mooch. From fauna with accompanying notes, through to unbelievable landscapes, religious miracles and a buried mermaid and her child, this was a strange and wonderful exhibition. Totally lost on Chiplet was the fact that what he was seeing wasn’t real – because at 2, I would quite like him to believe that anything is possible….. and I hope that he does. He did enjoy running around the galleries though with his Thomas the Tank in tow

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Then on Thursday of this week, the Hubs and I headed back to the very same exhibition for a special evening event for adults. The Media Museum Lates are totally free for adults (18+); the museum is open from 6.30 until 9.30 where you can relax, have fun and experience exclusive shows, activities and talks. This was their second one so we headed there for date night.

The museum was pretty packed out with people waiting for the official opening which was announced on the dot at 6.30pm. At this point we could pick up a list of what was happening. There were talks in the gallery by the curator of the Stranger than Fiction exhibition, special talks about the theme and lots of drop in sessions dotted around the place. We headed up to Level 3 to have go on the 101 ways to die game from Bradford-based games developer Four Door Lemon.  I murdered a couple of the Splatts, who reminded me of lemmings whilst the Hubs watched on the big screen behind me. The exhibition was asking us to question what we saw and reality in general – it asked whether I was de-sensitised to the violence of this game because it was a cartoon… I still felt a bit bad for splatting the Splatt. We then had an interesting chat about Barbie and Ken and their body shapes on the stand next door before heading down a floor to identify some serial killers with the team from Bradford University Psychology. Alongside all these activities the bar and restaurant were open for drinks, cakes and meals and there was a brilliant buzz about the place.We tried out some virtual reality on smart phones mounted in cardboard headsets – a prototype and pretty cool.

I couldn’t believe how busy it was… Bradford does definitely have a very cultural crowd who had all turned out for the event. It ran until 9.30 but since we had babysitters to get back for and rumbling tummies, we headed for a curry and then home.

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I think the next time I visit a ‘Lates’ event, I won’t see the exhibition ahead of it, as I think this was the big pull really – being able to have the last look at the exhibition before it closed.

Did you go to see Stranger than Fiction? What did you think? Do you love the Media Museum?

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