Exhibiting Culture: Marilyn

UPDATE: my talk on Saturday April 16th is now free entry for the public!

It’s feeling a little like the Marilyn Monroe show around here lately, but as they say in the classics…”too much Marilyn is barely enough”. I wonder what she’d make of it all, if she were still around? Probably shake her head in disbelief.

Very excitingly, I’ve been invited by Latrobe University as a guest lecturer to present a talk called “Dressing Marilyn”, which will be all about Monroe’s costumes and personal wardrobe and their role in the creation of the woman, the character and the myth. It’s part of a wonderful program called “Exhibiting Culture”. It will take in both current MM exhibitions, some films and specialist lectures by senior curators and academics.

The program is fully accredited as an elective for Latrobe undergraduate students but members of the public can also join in on the fun. It will be held over two weekends in Bendigo and Albury: you can choose whether to do either or both. My talk will be in Bendigo.


From the website:
Norma Jeane Baker eagerly embarked upon her Cinderella transformation into Marilyn Monroe through strategically using her looks. The camera loved her and she loved the camera. Her dream of being a great star came true – in her lifetime and beyond. Being Marilyn, however, did not bring the fulfilment, contentment, and security the dream had seemed to promise. Why not? Was Hollywood to blame? The Kennedys? 1950s conservatism? The circumstances of her childhood? The double-edged sword of celebrity?

In addressing questions such as these the “Exhibiting Culture: Marilyn” will explore the Marilyn phenomenon through the a number of lenses, including those provided by history, politics, fashion, cinema and the visual arts, psychology, gender relations and law.

What: Exhibiting Culture: Marilyn
When and where: Bendigo 15-17th April, Albury 29th April – 1st May
Cost: public registration is $250 for one, or $450 for both.
More information and registrations: click here.

There’s also two free bonus talks:

Art and Tea, 10am Wednesday 16th March at Bendigo’s Visual Arts Centre at Latrobe:
Dr Sue Gillett, Senior Lecturer in Humanities La Trobe University discusses the relationship between Marilyn’s sense of self and her deliberate construction as an ideal image of feminine sexuality and beauty.
More details here.

“The Many Deaths of Marilyn Monroe” at 6-8pm Wednesday 16th March at Bendigo’s Visual Arts Centre at Latrobe:
More than 50 years after Marilyn Monroe was found dead from a “possible suicide” in the bedroom of her Brentwood home, suspicions surrounding the true circumstances of her death have never gone away.

Join Dr Sue Gillett for an intriguing lecture on the nature of these suspicions and an examination of their plausibility – or implausibility.
More details here.

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