David Bowie Is


I was having a reasonably good time at the David Bowie Is exhibition at the V&A Museum the other week, fighting a bit with the otherwise cool automatic soundtrack audioguide (no text, only music) which was supposed to sync with the item I was watching but did not really, when I started to notice that the costumes, even the very structured ones, were made of extremely thin fabrics. Of course theatre costumes tend to be thin because it’s always too hot onstage. But I started to imagine how deliciously crumple-able Bowie must have been in those fabulous clothes, how crease-able.

Then I found myself in the Berlin room, which was totally reasoning with me (we all had a Berlin period at some point). Emerging from the Berlin room I was heading to the movies room, when I suddenly found myself in a huge dark space, with very high ceilings, huge screens with Bowie singing Five Years on them, loudly, stupid audioguide silent at last, and around me a hundred people standing and looking up in awe. I decided I could live there.

After an hour or so of complete bliss, I started to notice that the space was not that dark after all, the ceilings not so high, the songs were looping, the sound was not loud enough anyway, but at least no one was texting (had we been in Italy, everyone would have been texting). So I headed to the movies room, where I marveled at the Labyrinth paraphernalia, and then it was over.