Tuesday, 30 April 2013

strung out on lazers and slash back blazers

Bowie and Swinton
We visited the David Bowie event at the Victoria and Albert during the weekend. The V&A have done a good job and judging by the queues it's probably bringing in plenty of first time visitors.

Fortunately, we already had access so skipped the line, which had those Disney style vanishing angles to conceal its true length.

The show was originally opened by Tilda Swinton, who described Bowie as an early muse. As she said, "The image of that gingery boney pinky whitey person on the cover with the liquid mercury collar bone was - for one particular young moonage daydreamer - the image of planetary kin, of a close imaginary cousin and companion of choice."

Indeed, an influence for part of a generation, with his frequent changes of gear and perspective. The main exhibition has a wide range of costumes, photos, posters, records, videoa performance extracts and a guided headphone experience. I enjoyed spotting things like his original 12 string guitar tucked away on the corner of an exhibit.

The exhibition is split into various eras, from the Anthony Newley like early mod period, through Ziggy, America, Low Germany and beyond.

I found some of the smaller items fascinating too, like the early written outline for Ziggy Stardust, sketching the storyline that became the album's concept.
Ziggy plotline
Dana Gillespie was there and she was an early friend of Bowie. She lived across the road from the V&A in Thirloe Square and her parents' basement became 'The Bunker' where early Bowie collaborators including Angie Bowie met. She had a vast range of stories, including some best kept as memories.

The show is called 'Davie Bowie is' and on the last wall of the show was Paul Robertson's periodic table of Bowie.

Not a bad metaphor for this art who fell to earth. Here's "Heroes".

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