Arriving at the V&A on Friday 22nd March, the museum was buzzing with an exceptional number of milling crowds, which could have been surprising (the Friday Late was last last night) had it not been for the members' preview of the long-awaited David Bowie retrospective 'David Bowie is...'
Geoffrey Marsh is the Director of the Theatre and Performance Department at the museum, and is a co-curator of the Bowie retrospective: his enthusiasm for this particular exhibition was absolutely charming. Having been giving talks all day to members of the V&A, members of CreateVoice were fortunate that Geoffrey Marsh was able to stop by and discuss his role at the museum, and divulge exactly how such a show-stopping exhibition is curated.
If you go to the exhibition, you will be able to feast your eyes on over 300 items from David Bowie's archives, chosen by the curators from thousands of objects held in storage in New York. Having been granted unlimited access to Bowie's private archives, the V&A team were tasked with sorting through a vast quantity of objects - from sketches on napkins to the custom-made costumes you'll see on the posters - Geoffrey even joked that it's easy to believe David Jones has kept everything he has ever owned, and with an archiving system that Marsh suggests even outperforms that of the V&A, the collection is incredibly well archived.
The exhibition itself explores the identities created and performed by the London Boy born as David Jones, looking at exactly who David Bowie "is" (an exhibition title Geoffrey revealed was created by legendary music journalist Paul Morley - who intends to write an entire book on Bowie during a two-day period at the museum: worth checking out!). The art of provoking a reaction through self-presentation is something which has inspired many artists, and makes Bowie so worthwhile as an V&A exhibition subject: the performance aspect of many artist's work is important because of Bowie's legacy, but with Bowie, he is the performance.
Join CreateVoice members at the Bowie Weekender - programme here
See 'David Bowie is...' at the Victoria and Albert museum until August 11th - advanced booking recommended!
Words: Rachel May