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!
So jealous you got to see this! I got the exhibition book when it came out, but its not the same. Hopefully I’ll get to see it in Toronto… I wish they would bring it to NY hello he lives here! I’m glad you enjoyed it! XXX
This exhibition is truly amazing. I went to see it too. I think the V&A always has the best exhibitions anyway. I can’t wait to see the one about Isabella Blow at the Somerset House next autumn.
so cool! I hope it comes to the states!
The Bowie exhibition looks great, wish I could go! xxx
My David Bowie story: when I was a flight attendant David Bowie was a passenger on my flight from London to Berlin. He sat in coach. He was dressed in a pair of cords and a beautiful soft mossy green sweater. He bought a beer for the German lady sitting next to him even though they were strangers. He was very polite. VERY polite. He chatted with me like we were old friends. His eyes are amazing. I love David Bowie. I hope this exhibit comes here!!!
Oh my goodness, I am seeing it in Toronto in September and cannot wait. Even more so now that I’ve read your post. My friend is a member of the gallery so got us tickets on the opening night, when the show will only be open to members and their guests, so i’ll get to see through the peepholes, whatever that entails!
Oh I sure wish I could see this show! I love David Bowie and I think I would enjoy seeing his jumpsuits as much as you did! I have a few jumpsuits that just hang in my closet because, well they’re just not your everyday kind of thing, but I wouldn’t dream of letting them go!
[…] a little bit late to urge everyone to go there but let me end this by stating that once again (the David Bowie exhibition was another good example of this) the V&A did an excellent job. […]