One of the best exhibitions I’ve seen so far this year, if not the best, was David Bowie is at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The pre-sale tickets have been sold out for months now and I kind of had given up on the idea of seeing the exhibition at all. As I spent a weekend in London and my friends also wanted to see it we decided we would get out of bed early and be there for the opening of the Museum on Sunday morning. It worked like a charm. We still had to queue for half an hour to get some tickets but it would appear that 500 tickets are released every day for the day so if you’re there early, you can still get tickets.
Photography is not allowed in the exhibition so we’ll have to make do with some photos I took at the shop and around there with my phone. And why is this exhibition worth seeing? Well, lets just say that it is a feast for the senses. You are handed a head set when you get in and it will be activated with different sound bites as you go through the exhibition – sometimes it is music (it really made me feel like dancing while I was going through the exhibition), other times it is interviews ans commentary by several people. It was a lot to take in because there was a lot of people there I didn’t get to see everything in the detail I would have liked to (you had to queue to look at the peep holes on the wall, for example) and ain’t nobody got time for that.
This was extremely stimulating and almost too much to take in in such a short period of time. There are lots of things to see- outfits (the jumpsuits, oh my god the jumpsuits), memorabilia, posters, records, photos, videos… Everything! I already liked jumpsuits but seeing this exhibition really made me a convert.
It was amazing to see the personas David Bowie developed over the years, tapping into the current trends and culture. He takes in the influences from the world around him and brings it back out ‘bowiefied’ and adding completely different aspects to it. The world is then influenced by his work and it is so unique that it becomes an entirely new thing. Bowie took inspiration but didn’t copy anyone, he transformed things and made them his. The funniest reference I memorized was about Clockwork Orange- how it inspired some of the costumes, described as “Ultra Violence in Liberty fabrics“.
There was so much to see and so many layers of aesthetics and meaning it is difficult to convey in words. It’s going to be in London until the 11th of August and then it’ll travel the world. All I can say is GO SEE IT!