The Profane: Desecration of the Mandchou Coat
Curators: Jun Chen, Jessica Clark, Renata Hernandez, Bethany Miller
The Profane: Desecration of the Mandchou Coat is a performance exploring the history of a coat worn by the Emperor Guangxu in China and later by Princess Murat in France. The coat was donated to the Palais Galliera by Princess Murat’s heirs. The aim of this performance is to show how this object had different “social lives,” having been owned by different people in different places and cultural contexts. The curators highlight the way these lives are still evoked by the coat, which embodies power dynamics involving conceptions of West and East, viewed as acts of profanation of the symbolic value of the garment.
This performance is part of Objects in Trouble, a collaboration between Palais Galliera— Musée de la mode de la ville de Paris and the MA Fashion Studies program at The New School’s Parsons Paris. Objects in Trouble consists of four performances, each of which investigates an object in the Palais Galliera’s collection with a problematic history in relation to issues of race, colonialism, or elitism.
Concept: Laurent Cotta and Marco Pecorari, with the support of Miren Arzalluz
Exhibition Design: Justin Morin
Research Support: Antoine Bucher
Communication: Lisa Sarma and Margaux Brisson
Special Thanks to Morna Laing and Florence Leclerc Dickler