V&A Dundee to host major exhibitions on dancer Michael Clark and on plastic

Exhibitions about “truly remarkable” dancer and choreographer Michael Clark and about the story of plastic will feature at the V&A Dundee next year.

The museum said it will be the first ever major exhibition on Clark, curated and organised by London’s Barbican Centre, and will establish his radical presence in British cultural history.

Born in Aberdeen in 1962, Clark began traditional Scottish dancing at the age of four and in 1975 left home to study at the Royal Ballet School in London.

As a young choreographer, he brought together his classical ballet training with London’s punk, fashion and club culture to establish himself as one of the most innovative artists working in contemporary dance.

Later next year, visitors to V&A Dundee will be able to see Plastic: Remaking Our World, which will chart the changing fortunes of a material with a history spanning more than 150 years.

Museum director Leonie Bell said: “Design is a critical part of everyone’s lives and, as Scotland’s design museum, we engage with design in all sorts of ways, from celebrating the wonder and innovation it brings to encouraging debate about its potential to address challenges.

“Michael Clark is a truly remarkable creative force, who as a dancer and choreographer has challenged and redefined the limits of dance, its relationship to design and its place in contemporary culture.

“Plastic: Remaking Our World will explore how design can make powerful promises for the future that can turn into environmental challenges, while also looking to design’s role in solving the global problem of plastic pollution.

“These exhibitions celebrate the incredible diversity and potential of design. We can’t wait to welcome visitors to each of these major exhibitions.”

The Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer exhibition will open in February 2022 (Richard Haughton/PA)
The Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer exhibition will open in February 2022 (Richard Haughton/PA)

Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer will run from February 26 to September 4 next year and will feature photographs, film and material from his work alongside his collaborations across the visual arts, music, fashion and cinema.

Plastic: Remaking Our World will run from October 29 2022 to February 5 2023 and will present the story of plastic from invention to ubiquity.

It will feature product design, graphics, architecture and fashion from the collections of the V&A and Vitra Design Museum, as well as collections all over the world.

It is the first exhibition co-produced by V&A Dundee, the Vitra Design Museum in Germany and the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon, with consultant curators from V&A South Kensington in London.