PHD US coordinated HBO’s partnership with Refinery29 to host a pop-up exhibition in Brooklyn to commemorate the network’s hit series “Girls”
This article was first published on The Drum.
Hannah, Adam, Shoshanna, Jessa, Marnie and company are calling it a series — and to celebrate six seasons of Girls, which ends its run Sunday night, HBO and Refinery29 have collected some of the best moments, memorabilia and memories at a Brooklyn pop-up gallery to say thank you to fans.
Girls: The Exhibition set up shop this weekend in Hannah’s Bushwick neighborhood in Brooklyn, and the experience is meant to take select fans through the entire series, in all its millennial joy, angst and self-indulgent heartbreak.
“HBO’s Girls has been a cultural touchpoint among our core demographic of millennial women for six years and this activation was a wonderful collaboration between our brand and HBO. From the minute we teamed up, we were excited to create the perfect parting gift for fans that would truly honor the show’s legacy, said Albie Hueston, experiential creative director for Refinery29. “This opportunity tapped into our unique ability to produce immersive live experiences that create a new type of social storytelling.”
When it came to HBO in 2012, Lena Dunham’s Hannah Horvath stated: “I think that I may be the voice of my generation. Or at least, a voice of a generation.” The press ran with that, both lauding and criticizing the show and its creator as the spokes-show and person of the millennial generation. Throughout its run, it helped people both understand and revile the selfie-loving, sensitive bunch of girls trying to find their ways in the big city.
The pop-up is definitely meant for fans of the show – even those who hate-watched it due to its sometimes annoying but always compelling characters. The retrospective encompasses the touchpoints from every season. It begins with a mirror that flashes words every split-second. The viewer is meant to take a selfie to capture whatever word comes up, so one can be the subject of “I am the voice (or genius or master) of my generation. From there, a timeline starts on the wall with season one quotes and clips (on iPad with headphones) to remind you how young the women were when it all started.
Quotes on the wall remind you of the funny, touching and frustrating things said by the characters, like “Sometimes being stuck in my own head is so exhausting that it makes me want to cry” (Marnie), “Let’s have the type of night where it’s 5am and one of us has definitely punched someone who’s been on a Disney Channel show” (Elijah) or “You vibrate on a very strange frequency” (Ray).
Other features include set photography, wardrobe items (including the live art exhibit apron Hannah wore that said “Ask me my name”), script pages, an Iowa license plate (to remind us that Hannah went to an Iowa writers workshop and dropped out) and concert posters from the ill-fated Marnie & Desi concerts. Fans can even walk away with Ray election buttons and tote bags from the series.
As fans get to the end – some no doubt tearing up knowing that the show is ending its run – they are treated to a very accurate recreation of Hannah’s living room, complete with retro couch, fox pillow and a tiny kitchen.
“Girls has become such a signature show with an avid following. We wanted to celebrate the series in a fashion tailored especially for the fans. When our media agency PHD came to us with the opportunity to partner with Refinery29, we thought it was a great way to bring fans together, commemorate iconic Girls moments, and get them reminiscing about why they love the show, the characters and their storylines.” Carlye Wayne, manager of program marketing at HBO.