Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser review – a wonderful tumble down the rabbit holeMay 19, 2021
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Inspiring everything from Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit to Heston Blumenthal’s mock turtle soup, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland continues to feel delightfully modern
To get into the V&A’s blockbuster about the influence of Alice, I had to stand at a security gate for ages, waiting to be called forward into the silent museum. It was a tiny bit Kafkaesque. Then I remembered Kafka was probably influenced by Carroll so it was in fact Carrollesque. Both Carroll and Kafka create slippery, unstable realities in which hapless characters face menacing trials. They both define our world – but one was a modernist and the other a 19th-century don. This is the question this hugely enjoyable and thought-provoking exhibition raises: how did a Victorian children’s author create one of the myths that sum up the modern condition?