If you missed last year’s unforgettable ‘David Bowie is’ exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, now’s your chance to catch it again as it returns to Europe, and to Berlin in particular, on the latest leg of its international tour. Described as “one of the most pioneering and influential performers of modern times”, this fascinating international retrospective, opening tomorrow (May 20th), explores how, in addition to being a prolific force in the world of music for the past five decades, David Bowie’s work has both influenced and been influenced by the world of contemporary culture – art, design and theatre in particular.
Curated by the V&A and focussing on his creative processes, the exhibition retraces Bowie’s career from the early days of David Robert Jones and his time as an artist in London, through to the globally-renowned iconic superstar known today as David Bowie and revered the world over. Presenting over 300 objects directly associated with this icon of popular music, from original costumes, set designs and photographs to handwritten lyrics, album artwork and rare performance material, visitors and loyal fans will be able to immerse themselves in the weird and wonderful world of Bowie. There’s some 60 stage costumes on display (including the iconic Ziggy Stardust jumpsuit) as well as music videos, film and concert clips and a wealth of photographs by Herb Ritts, Terry O’Neill and Brian Duffy, amongst many others. Diary entries, notes, unpublished storyboards, handwritten set lists, song lyrics and drawings complement further this unique collection of memorabilia.
Berlin itself is an important stopping point on this international tour, for Bowie had close ties with the German capital. Indeed, the ‘Berlin years’ of 1976 to 1978 were said to be his most productive, for he produced the albums Low and Lodger, as well as perhaps his most seminal work, Heroes – a song about two lovers who kiss at the wall – during his time here. Bowie’s connections with Berlin also run to film-making, as it was here that he shot Just a Gigolo with Marlene Dietrich. Paying homage therefore to his intrinsic links with Berlin, the exhibition has a dedicated section to the city.
Open daily from 10am until 8pm, the exhibition runs until August 10th at Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-bau, before moving on to Chicago where it goes on display from September 20th until January 2015. From here, it returns to Europe and to Paris’ Cité de la Musique, opening to the public on March 2nd, 2015 (running until May 31st, 2015).