The Victoria and Albert Museum presents the first major international retrospective of Pink Floyd, one of the world’s most pioneering and influential rock bands. The exhibition will mark 50 years since the band released their first single Arnold Layne and their first album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
The exhibition celebrates Pink Floyd’s place in musical and cultural history from their early experiments with psychedelic music to their ground breaking use of special effects and imagery to complement their conceptual albums. The exhibition explores the band’s work in composition, staging, design, film, music technology, graphic design and photography and features more than 350 objects and artefacts including never-before-seen material.
Visitors enter the exhibition through an oversized recreation of the Bedford van which the band used in their early days. Once inside, the exhibition is organised in chronological order with a mixture of music, printed matter, designs and screens in which the past and present members of Pink Floyd tell the story of their remarkable rise from playing small venues to selling out some of the largest stadiums in the world.
The earliest incarnation of Pink Floyd included guitarist and vocalist Syd Barrett who left the band in the sixties but was always a presence in the Pink Floyd story.
The bands rise to superstardom began in the 1970s with the release of the Dark Side of the Moon, the album with its stunning prism artwork provided the template for future albums where designers, lighting engineers, architects and illustrators worked together to provide a theatrical, visual and musical wonderland.
The exhibition features a recreation of Battersea Power Station that featured on the Animals album and spectacular set and construction pieces from ‘The Wall’ and other albums.
For music lovers, there is an in depth look at the band’s instruments including a range of David Gilmour’s guitars and Richard Wright’s Mini Moog synthesiser.
The exhibition ends when visitors enter an immersive audio visual space to enjoy the very last performance of all four members at Live 8.
The Victoria and Albert Museum have been at the forefront of these types of exhibitions with their David Bowie and You Say You Want a Revolution shows. The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains provides a fascinating immersive, multi-sensory and theatrical journey through Pink Floyd’s extraordinary and often surreal world.
Whilst the exhibition will undoubtedly attract the legions of Pink Floyd fans, it does provide plenty of interest for general visitors. Pink Floyd were a product of their age and recurring themes of war and alienation often was a response to the cultural landscape. Unlike many other bands, Pink Floyd took an active part in the visual and musical landscape they created. It was a landscape like no other band of its time or since and offers an intriguing insight into a visual and musical experience before the digital revolution.
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Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended
For more information , visit the V & A website here
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