I was raving about the Rolling Stones exhibition last year, saying they have utterly rewritten the template for what a successful rock memorabilia exhibition should look like and set a new global standard. So when a Pink Floyd exhibition was announced at the V&A I was expecting something really creative. Surely, an arty band like Floyd, and one that has always loved spectacle and grand statements, wouldn’t allow themselves to be outdone by the Stones?
The Pink Floyd exhibition is meticulously curated and a fascinating insight into the band’s history but for the most part I found it very, very traditional. Whereas, the Stones went for breathtaking recreations of their squalid Edith Grove flat, of the studio where many Jagger/Richards classics were laid down and of the very private world of the Stones’ backstage area, Floyd have gone for things displayed neatly in glass cases in chronological order. Don’t get me wrong I loved seeing these items but an exact recreation of the interior of the UFO Club in 1967 or a mock-up of the studio where Dark Side Of The Moon was recorded there was none.
Towards the end of the tour we did get some 3D installations of images from The Wall and Battersea Power Station – and the room devoted to the sculpture from the Division Bell album cover was particularly poignant. Overall, however, while I felt with The Stones I was being taken on a very personal journey through the life of the band, with Pink Floyd I never really felt much more than a visitor to a museum looking at some artefacts, albeit very, very interesting ones.
4 thoughts on “Review: ‘Their Mortal Remains’ Pink Floyd Exhibition at the V&A”
Hmm, well, I couldn’t get to NYC for the Stones one and I was disappointed. Doesn’t sound like I need to lose any sleep over this one. Maybe just take some psilocybin and stare at old album covers. 😀
It is still really worth seeing if you appreciate Floyd. The sculpture from Division Bell was outstanding up close. But the Stones have set the bar high as I said last year!
Isn’t that Floyd. A little distant a little proper and a little guarded.
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A little distant and guarded yes. And proper even. But I at least expected them to rip up the rule book a bit with the Barrett era and to put on something big and bold for Dark Side..