According to the exhibition’s curator, his influence on contemporary culture is arguably greater than any other musician of his generation. One could argue that John Lennon and Paul McCartney might also be considered in this league. However, Bowie’s contribution to music, performance, fashion and design are certainly milestones of our era.
The exhibition, give yourself a minimum of at least two hours, tells his story through costume, film, photography and set designs as well as more personal items such as musical scores, storyboards, lyrics and diary entries. It shows how Bowie had the knack of capturing and reshaping the trends of the twentieth century. Headphones are an essential part of the exhibition, not just for the narration but also for the music. The exhibition is not just about Bowie but incorporates many of the things that helped influence his thinking. Clothes he wore are on display, as are his paintings, but also a painting of Marilyn by Andy Warhol; a poster from Stanley Kubrick’s film Clockwork Orange; and album covers. A high-ceilinged room is covered on three sides with film clips of his concerts. With some seating available, and his music playing through your headphones, it would be quiet easy to get lost in watching his performances.
If my visit is anything to go by, interest will be huge. Look out too for additional related events.
Book online at http://www.vam.ac.uk/tickets