Page 3 Profile: David Bowie, Musician

 

Adam Sherwin
Wednesday 05 September 2012 09:22
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A new album?

Bowie's last studio effort, Reality, came out almost nine years ago, and there are no plans for another in the near future. But eager fans do have something to chew on: the Victoria And Albert Museum in London will stage an exhibition on the singer's career in March next year. Bowie has given curators access to his archive of 60,000 objects, which are stored in a New York facility. Some 300 of those have been chosen for display.

Including?

There are 60 items of stage-wear, among them his infamous Ziggy Stardust jumpsuit, Kansai Yamamoto's creations for the 1973 Aladdin Sane tour and the Union Jack coat designed by Bowie and Alexander McQueen for his 1997 Earthling album cover. The musician's instruments will be displayed, as well as storyboards for a proposed musical of George Orwell's 1984. The highlight could well be a life-size projection of David Bowie created by the animators behind Danny Boyle's Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

I presume he's delighted

Wrong. Friends of Bowie, whose lust for the public eye has faded since a heart scare in 2004, say he's uneasy about attempts to catalogue his life and career. The exhibition explores his influences – from German expressionism to Brechtian theatre – but will also examine the extent to which his art was actually plagiarism. Last week, Bowie released a statement distancing himself from the exhibition. "I am not a co-curator and did not participate in any decisions relating to the exhibition," he said. "The David Bowie Archive gave unprecedented access to the V&A and [the] museum's curators have made all curatorial and design choices." He added with tongue placed in cheek: "A close friend of mine tells me that I am neither 'devastated', 'heartbroken' nor 'uncontrollably furious' by this news item."

That's a bit disappointing

At least it won't be obsequious and fawning. The curators have been keen to play up the exhibition's academic credentials. "He is the ideal subject for an exhibition because he takes high art down to street level," said Victoria Broackes. "This will be a serious exhibition about design."

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