Album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane, 1973 Photograph by Brian Duffy © Duffy Archive

‘David Bowie is’ exhibition at the V&A

It’s been called the exhibition of the year by many. And there’s no doubt that it’s an absolute must-see. The V&A are the first folk to get their hands on David Bowie’s Archive, and this, the first big Bowie retrospective ever mounted, contains over 300 objects. But as well as being a consummate exhibition, it’s a clever one. So yes, you see his outlandish stage costumes up close, his instruments and set designs, album artwork, handwritten song lyrics and set lists, musical scores and diary entries, but what’s additionally interesting is that you see all this in context. Bowie was an original of course, but he didn’t work in a vacuum. So you see not only LPs by his musical heroes, such as Little Richard, but a video of Gilbert and George performing as Living Sculptures, and many other examples of the things Bowie mined for inspiration, from German Expressionism to Japanese Kabuki performance. All this is fascinating. But what makes the exhibition so much fun and so involving is the way it immerses you in Bowie world: a headset is not an extra for this exhibition, but part of it, so you hear Bowie’s voice and his songs at just the right moments. There is also a mocked up recording booth, a black and white room dedicated to his time in Berlin, and a massive wall of video screens showing him performing live, all of which makes you feel like you’re right there with him. It’s all so effective that the whole exhibition could be called not David Bowie is but You is David Bowie.

Prize draw to win a pair of tickets to David Bowie Is exhibition
Prize draw ends: 12 April 2013, 5pm. Tickets are valid till 28 July 2013. Exhibition on till 11 Aug 2013.
V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
£15.50. Concessions available. Or free if you win our prize draw!
020 7942 2502
— Daisy
27th March 2013