As I mentioned back in my PAX Prime 2014 recap, I took an extra day in Seattle after the con had wrapped up to check out the EMP Museum‘s Science Fiction exhibit. And, unbeknownst to me at the time, the EMP museum was also hosting exhibitions on Fantasy and Horror, two of my other favourite genres. The horror exhibition was especially exciting for me, so I thought I’d take a little time to share my experience with you.
Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic
This was the first exhibit I decided to explore. The whole thing was organized around the ideas of archetypes in Fantasy, like The Rogue or The Iron Woman. They even had a little interactive quiz where you could find out what archetype you fit best and then at the end of the exhibit you could take a picture of yourself as your archetype and buy a poster of it. I’m clearly The Maiden Warrior… however, I opted not to buy a poster.
Even though the exhibit itself was fairly small, there were tons of little details that really made it come alive. There were armoured trees and fake straw underfoot to make you think you were in a medieval village somewhere. Some of the neatest items on display were actual manuscripts by Ursula K. Le Guin and George R. R. Martin. And of course, let’s not forget the dragon.
You can find out more about the exhibit (including more pictures) here.
Icons of Science Fiction
This part is actually part of the permanent collection at the EMP, with a small Science Fiction Hall of Fame at the end. Again, the collection was smaller than I anticipated, but it was still really cool to see so many artifacts up close, including actual maquettes from films like Alien & Superman. I was a bit of a special effects nerd as a kid (growing up during the dawn of the blockbuster probably had something to do with it), so I was having major nostalgia feels. My mom’s actually the one who introduced me to Sci-Fi and Star Trek: The Next Generation was family night viewing, which added to the feels.
Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film
This was the most unexpected exhibit and actually my favourite. I’m finding that my inner horror hound is coming out more and more lately, so it was especially cool to see one of my favourite genres treated so reverently. The exhibit was curated by a selection of influential horror directors, namely Eli Roth, Roger Corman, and John Landis and centered around 8 handpicked movies, including Les Diaboliques, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Suspiria. There were also awesome interactive exhibits on sound design and a screaming booth, plus lots and lots of memorabilia and props. I think my favourite prop was the original control panel used in Frankenstein (1931), but sadly my pictures of it didn’t turn out.
You can find more about the exhibit here.
Although all the exhibits were pretty small, I still spent enough time in the horror exhibit that I didn’t even have time to check out any of the music related stuff before I had to go catch my bus back to Vancouver. However, I still felt like I got my money’s worth.
If you happen to find yourself in the Seattle area I definitely recommend checking out the EMP Museum. They even have an Indie Game related exhibit opening in November.