Less than a month after the credits rolled on its wildly-popular exhibition on the filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, the Museu da Imagem e do Som (MIS) is partnering with London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) to pay homage to yet another pioneer, and one of the most important performers and cultural icons of our time: David Bowie, who turned 69 on January 8th.
Besides handwritten set lists, song lyrics, manuscripts, instruments, drawings, and 47 of Bowie's original costumes, fans can also take in some of the movie scenes, live performances, music videos and photos that show the artist's shifting styles and remind us of his extraordinary influence on the worlds of music, fashion and art.
Laid out by theme, the exhibit is a virtual labyrinth that takes visitors on a journey through the many reinventions, performances and creative nuances of the British artist, who has been of the world's most influential artists over the last century – a fact proven yet again by the release of his praised and unexpected 2013 album, The Next Day, Bowie's first with new songs since 2003.
Among the human chameleon’s many costumes on display are pieces from the album Aladdin Sane, such as the asymmetrical jumpsuit made out of vinyl and signed by Kansai Yamamoto, and the red platform boots, both worn during his 1973 tour; the blue suit worn during the music video for ‘Life on Mars?’ and the Freddie Burretti multi-coloured pants and jacket made for the Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars album tour.
Fascinating finds among the photos will get your attention too, like the promotional photo shot for the band The Kon-rads, when Bowie was just 16, and another of him with the writer William Burroughs (who wrote the classic Naked Lunch), taken by Terry O’Neill and colored in manually by the singer.
As if the exhibition wasn’t enough, MIS has also scheduled a few other surprises for Bowie fans. Apart from a special edition of the trendy outdoor party Green Sunset (8 February), there is also a film festival screening all the movies he has acted in, and a karaoke session featuring a selection of the singer’s biggest hits.