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A close up felt tip drawing of David Bowie's ahses to ashes album cover
  • Gems from David Bowie is

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    Posted on: 14/08/2015

    Curators from the V&A and ACMI take viewers behind the amazing costumes and objects on display in the groundbreaking David Bowie is.

    The Hunger City

    “It describes this dystopian city that Bowie was imagining, which was inspired by many influences, from Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ to William Burroughs’ ‘Wild Boys’, and somehow all those things come together.”

    V&A Assistant Curator Dr Kathryn Johnson examines David Bowie's Diamond Dogs tour and the Hunger City set.

    Let's Dance

    "The way that they shot it, it was a very progressive and quite political film to make, telling a story that we certainly weren't particularly interested in hearing at that time.

    ACMI CEO and Director Katrina Sedgwick discusses David Bowie's groundbreaking 1983 video for "Let's Dance", shot on location in Carinda, NSW.

    Klaus Nomi Costume

    “It’s a costume that was inspired by two dada performances, and dada is a movement in the early 1920s which started in Switzerland and was very much an anti-art movement so a lot of it was about nonsense and words that don’t make any sense.”

    ACMI Curator Emma McRae takes us behind the scenes on one of Bowie's more flamboyant costumes for his infamous Saturday Night Live performance with Klaus Nomi. Inspired by the dada movement and his Berlin years, Bowie’s Saturday Night Live performance shows him moving away from established personas to embrace new identities.

    Live Performance Costumes

    “You see the signs of wear and life, you see mends on some of the objects, you see where they’ve had to be taken in or out… these were used costumes and they absolutely have lived lives.”

    Daniel Slater, Senior Exhibitions Manager at the V&A Museum works carefully with David Bowie's delicate objects and shares some of the secrets contained within the costumes that he performed prolifically in.

    Ashes to Ashes

    “Repetition is one of the signs of a real artist and that’s what comes across when you see all of the creative output of Bowie. The ‘Ashes to Ashes’ works that came in the ‘80s—you get a series of felt tip marker drawings just written on a yellow legal pad, which are absolutely beautiful and you can see the progression and the thought that goes into not just the costume, but the music video and the character.”

    For more David Bowie is exhibition videos head to the dedicated Bowie Channel

    David Bowie is exhibits at ACMI until Nov 1 2015

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