The David Bowie show
The V&A has revealed full details of its 2013 blockbuster exhibition David Bowie Is, which has been curated with the man himself and designed by 59 Productions and Real Studios.
Barnbrook has worked on the graphic identity of the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue.
The exhibition itself, it seems, will be a broad church for understanding Bowie’s creative processes as a musician and cultural icon.
Source: Duffy Archive
His changing style *resists pun* and ability to morph into seemingly different people will be scrutinised through 300 objects including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, associated fashion, photography, film, music videos, set design, his instruments and album artwork.
Source: The David Bowie Archive 2012
Beyond this the exhibition will look to convey a sense of how Bowie’s music, style and vision has sent ripples across art, design and contemporary culture, tackling big themes like challenging convention and the pursuit of freedom of expression.
His galactic breadth of influence means Bowie came to collaborate with a cohort of other creatives. There will be more then 60 costumes on display including Ziggy Stardust bodysuits designed by Freddie Burretti (1972), and the Union Jack coat designed by Bowie and Alexander McQueen for his 1997 Earthling album cover.
Photography by Brian Duffy, and Terry O‘Neill, album sleeve art by Guy Peellaert and Edward Bell, plus set design created for the Diamond Dogs tour will all feature.
Personal effects have been provided by Bowie, who is sharing storyboards, handwritten set lists and lyrics, his own sketches, scores, and diary entries. In this respect it really looks like a show for completest fans.
The beginning of the exhibition will cover Bowie’s formative years, which Design Week last week touched on when we published a piece about his art teacher Owen Frampton’s memoirs.
As an opening it looks at Bowie’s shape-shifting style, in terms of musical style, sartorially and in attitude which sees him hop-scotch quickly through mod, folk and R&B.
A second gallery delves into creative processes, pulling out song writing, recording, producing, designing costumes, stage sets and album artwork. All of this is shrouded in cultural movements including Surrealism, Brechtian theatre and avant-garde mime, German Expressionism and Japanese Kabuki.
In probably the most eye-opening gesture of the exhibition, this section will explain exactly how albums and touring shows were created around constructed stage personas - demystifying the euolgised and deeply influential Ziggy Stardust hopefully, a challenging beacon for androgynous otherworldliness in the early 1970s.
A final section looks at Bowie as a performer on stage and in film where an immersive AV space will present projections of music videos including DJ (1979) a recently uncovered Top of The Pops performance of Jean Genie (1973), and DA Pennebaker’s film Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: The Motion Picture (1973).
There will also be a host of other films and performances shown in this final gallery, far too long to list here. David Bowie Is, covers, well, everything.
Source: John Robert Rowlands
David Bowie takes place at the V&A Cromwell Road SW7 from 23 March – 28 July 2013.