Aladdin Sane














David Bowie Is…Taking over The MCA

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Text and photos by Amanda Koellner

David Bowie is…

Major Tom.

Ziggy Stardust.

Aladdin Sane.

The Thin White Duke.

David Bow Is...at the MCA Chicago until January 4th in a not-to-miss exhibition detailing the Starman’s interstellar journey from his 1947 birth as David Robert Jones in Brixton, London through the many characters he embodied over the past 50 years up to the artist’s 2013 release, The Next Day.

The exhibit features a collection of artifacts hand-picked from Bowie’s extraordinary 75,000-item archive and highlights the way the visionary absorbed art, theater, music, and technology and twisted his interpretation of the creativity around him into an amalgamation of classic albums, historic performances, androgynous costumes, and more.

Focusing on Bowie's creative processes and many collaborations, the exhibition guides visitors from, for example, his Ziggy Stardust jumpsuit to the Aladdin Sane album cover outtakes to hand-scrawled "Space Oddity" lyrics to the the crystal ball from Labyrinth. Soundtracked by Sennheiser’s audio-guide system (via headphones handed over as you enter the exhibit), it's a true sonic and visual treat, with immersive surround sound—including performances, interviews, and studio recordings—emanating from a multi-channel music experience.

Originally curated by Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the MCA exhibition was curated by Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator, and is the result of the historic relationship between the V&A and the MCA (which is the only US venue set to feature the exhibit).

While we may never know just exactly who David Bowie is, this groundbreaking look at the man (/myth/legend) is a must-see for fans of any degree.

David Bowie Is runs from September 23rd–January 4th. 

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