The Desire for Eternal Youth

Jan. 23, 2021 – June 13, 2021
Kunsthal Rotterdam will be kicking off the new year with the multimedia exhibition ‘Youthquake. The Desire for Eternal Youth’. The exhibition reveals the strong influence youthfulness has on our image culture, at the hand of garments, photographs and videos. The fashion world provides excellent possibilities for being ageless – or at least for appearing to be ageless. And the desire to remain forever young is a theme that is also disseminated widely through marketing strategies and the (social) media.

Adult children and youthful seniors

‘Youthquake’ is about adult children and youthful seniors. The mythical fountain of eternal youth serves as the prologue for the exhibition. Historic ‘mini-me’ attire is followed by flapper dresses and miniskirts from the rebellious youth cultures of the 1920s and 1960s. Video and photography visualise contemporary marketing strategies that are inspired by the principle that ‘youth sells’. Young people are a source of inspiration for a visual culture that is dominated by an unattainable body image: extremely thin, beautiful, and young. Finally, a hopeful and critical counterbalance to the 21st century’s flood of youthful images is provided by some senior birds of paradise, including the 99-year-old fashion icon Iris Apfel who said: “I would like to be remembered as the world’s oldest living teenager.”


‘Youthquake. The Desire for Eternal Youth’ is realised in collaboration with Fashion Museum Hasselt. The multidisciplinary fashion house MAISON the FAUX is responsible for the exhibition design.


2. Jimmy Paul, Elmo, foto Marc de Groot.jpg
Jimmy Paul, Elmo, foto Marc de Groot
3. The Souper Dress, Scott Paper, 1966, © Modemuseum Hasselt - foto Kristof Vrancken.jpg
The Souper Dress, Scott Paper, 1966, © Modemuseum Hasselt - foto Kristof Vrancken
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