‘David Bowie is’ opens this week at Brooklyn Museum (preview the exhibit)
Traveling David Bowie exhibition David Bowie is makes its 11th and final stop at Brooklyn Museum starting on Friday (3/2), when it opens for viewing. The exhibition runs through July 15, 2018, and tickets are on sale. There’s a special museum member preview on Thursday (3/1) night, and we were able to get a first look at the exhibit, and take pictures, on Wednesday (2/28) afternoon. Take a look in the gallery above.
Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum London and encompassing around 500 objects, 100 of which were newly added for the Brooklyn stop of the exhibition, David Bowie is is a feast for the ears and the eyes. Photographs, drawings, handwritten lyrics, album art, costumes, and musical instruments are joined by a variety of video installations. Brooklyn Museum’s official audio partner for the exhibition, Sennheiser, provided a sonic experience including headphones that deliver relevant audio, produced by longtime Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti, based on what part of the exhibit you’re viewing. I found that it worked well (although wireless hotspots interfere with it, so disable those). The layout is organized by theme rather than chronologically, with sections like “Ziggy Stardust,” “Rebel, Rebel,” “Black and White Years,” and “Blackstar.” The “Astronaut of Inner Space” and “Music Video” sections were particular highlights to me visually, but each section is full of things worth pouring over.
Brooklyn Museum lists more highlights of the exhibition:
Highlights of the exhibition include more than 60 custom-made performance costumes, including six designed by Freddie Burretti for Ziggy Stardust / 1980 Floor Show and seven designed by Kansai Yamamoto for Aladdin Sane. There are 85 handwritten lyric sheets, including those from “Fame” and “Fashion”; drawings, including a sketch for the Young Americans album cover; and oil paintings, including two of musician Iggy Pop, all by Bowie. There are also more than 40 pioneering music videos, television clips, and filmed roles as well as a multimedia presentation of international tour footage with rare scenes from the legendary Diamond Dogs tour, filmed in Philadelphia.
There’s a gift shop at the end of the exhibit, with, among other things, a selection of Bowie vinyl. As Rolling Stone reports, the limited edition releases available include a 7″ single of “Time” b/w “The Prettiest Star” and Live in Berlin (1978), a mini-LP with four previously unreleased recordings. iSelect, a Bowie-curated compilation available at previous David Bowie is stops, will also be available on red vinyl.
Brooklyn Museum is also producing a number of events to coincide with David Bowie is. Highlights include an immersive screening of Basquiat (Bowie plays Andy Warhol in the film) presented by Little Cinema on March 8; The Bowie Songbook with Burnt Sugar Arkestra on March 29; an immersive screening of The Man Who Fell to Earth on April 4; a talk with Tony Vicsonti on April 5; and a film series on Thursdays in June with The Hunger, a re-imagining of Labyrinth, and Velvet Goldmine. Find more information on Brooklyn Museum’s site.
Outside of Brooklyn Museum, Morrison Hotel Gallery is in the midst of a month-long David Bowie photo exhibition, BOWIE. Running through March 23, the free exhibit features photos from Duffy, Lynn Goldsmith, Bob Gruen, Guido Harari, Geoff MacCormack, Terry O’Neill, Neal Preston, Mick Rock, Masayoshi Sukita, Barry Schultz, and Barrie Wentzell.