I heard about the ‘David Bowie is’ exhibition at The V&A through a friend in September last year and decided to book tickets as an early Christmas present. I’m glad I booked so far in advance: it’s the fastest selling exhibition the museum’s ever hosted. Although David wasn’t directly involved in the conception or the advertising of the exhibition, it has coincidentally been displayed at the same time as the release of his new (and may I say fantastic) album The Next Day. It’s safe to say that the world will never grow tired of this icon, even after a ten year absence from the music scene.
The exhibition itself is superbly co-ordinated; the sensor based headsets you receive on arrival truly enhance the understanding and impact of the exhibition. Despite the volume of people around each exhibit, the headphones allow you to pretend you’re immersed in your own little world of Bowie bliss. The exhibits range from hand-written lyrics, music videos, film-footage, gig-posters, photographs; and of course the iconic costumes that caused so much controversy when first premiered all those years ago. My favourite piece of memorabilia was David’s tiny ‘cocaine spoon’ (I didn’t know they made cutlery for such things.)
If you’re a fan of David Bowie and like me, think that ‘David Bowie is’ an amazing, androgynous, articulate genius; you should take a trip to the V&A before all the tickets get snapped up. I feel very lucky to have been a spectator at this fantastic event.