A New Exhibition On Pink Floyd Opens At The V&A
It’s no secret that Pink Floyd were partial to the odd hallucinogen. It was the Sixties, wasn’t everyone? And, being a bit of a miserable Tuesday afternoon last week, we were happy to get as close to the experience of doing mind-altering substances as is possible without, well, doing them. Here, the approximation came in the form of a replica of the psychedelic interior of Pink Floyd’s notorious Bedford Van, which forms the entrance to a brand new exhibition on the band at the V&A – The Pink Floyd Exhibition: The Mortal Remains. Down the rabbit hole and on to the room beyond, which is filled with hypnotic, vertigo swirls and a psychedelic light show to match, a homage to the fabled UFO club – armed only with a set of headphones that magically come to life at different points of the exhibition. There’s the sounds of David Gilmour’s famous ‘Black Strat’ or the chimes of a Hammond Organ played by Richard Wright and Roger Waters’ 12-string Ovation guitar, responsible for that dense acoustic layering in The Wall.
The rest of the exhibition explores Pink Floyd’s albums one by one, most with some sort of visually stimulating accompaniment – Delicate Sound of Thunder gets a very literal recreation of suited dummies wearing in lightbulbs, the iconic Dark Side of The Moon cover is translated into a prism hurtling through space. Most impressive? The exhibition’s homage to The Wall – a ginormous set piece of Battersea power station, complete with giant inflatable animals suspended from the ceiling and the slightly terrifying ‘Teacher’ puppet (if you know, you know) from Another Brick In The Wall. But the climax, if you will, is the final room – no need for headphones here; the walls are covered with 360 degree screens showing footage of live Pink Floyd performances through the ages and a fun little laser show. Who needs reality?
Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains is on at the V&A from May 13th to 1st October 2017