REVIEW: The Pink Floyd Exhibition; Their Mortal Remains
As soon as I first heard about the Pink Floyd’s exhibition and being a fan from the band like I am, I knew I had to be there. So in september of 2016, from a small studio in Mexico City and 8 months before the opening took place.. I booked my ticket. Little I knew about the hows, just one thing was certain; it was going to be my first time in London and it was going to be fantastic!
The big day finally arrived! Four days after the opening and an incredible amount of excitement, luckily I was able to find a place not too far from the Victoria & Albert Museum, I just had to take the bus and.. wait, there’s not time, the tube it is then. The hour of my entrance it was 10 am, I wanted to spend all the time I could inside those walls. 10:10 and I was already in the queue with the sound equipment the staff of the exhibition handles you. It is happening! As I walk an installation of the “Dark Side of the Moon” receives you, (you can see all the images below).
A giant simulation of the band’s Bedford van is the start of the journey, the UFO moments, the graphic influences and a recreation of a liquid light show is visible on the ceiling.
Sadly the space dedicated to Syd Barrett is kept to the minimum, a short paragraph on a wall welcomes you to the second room while a video shows Storm Thorgerson and the band members talking about his unique personality. From now on we will see described each one of the Pink Floyd’s records, first a small selection from the “Piper at the Gates of Dawn” to the “Dark Side of the Moon”.
And then, something magic is about to happen..
An entire room of the exhibition is devoted to one of the most significant covers in music history, the refracting prism designed by Pink Floyd’s longstanding visual team Hipgnosis. A darkened room illuminated by a holographic representation of the pyramid prism from Dark Side of the Moon welcomes you as the bluetooth system of your guide starts playing the whole album through your headphones! This is so surreal!
After that is time to get into the instruments, a majestic red room protects all these beautiful pieces, from the ones used in Pompeii to the eldest Roger Water’s bass plus a fantastic mixer that allows you to create you own mix of “Money.”
The next room is completely dedicated to the making of “Wish You Were Here”, half of the it explores the creation of the art cover again brought it to life by Storm Thorgerson. Then a very significant piece is displayed, a Syd Barrett polaroid, he sitting on a couch looking to the camera, the story was real! Syd Barrett actually turned up at the Abbey Road Studios when Pink Floyd were in the recording of Wish You Were Here, this particular picture wasn’t shown before.
It’s 3:00 pm and I’m still inside..yes, you are reading right, five hours and I’m still here, excited, not tired or hungry, that’s the effect Pink Floyd have on me. A guard approaches us; “Please hurry, there are still 4 rooms to go and the last one requires 20 mins.” 20 minutes? What kind of room could require that.. I must hurry! But it’s hard not to resist the temptation when in your ears “One of these days” is playing and in front of you the graphics of Ian Eames are dancing, jus intoxicating!
Then the unthinkable, a model of the Battersea Power Station constructed inside a larger room and next to it.. a recreation of a enormous wall, a small pink pig suspended from the ceiling. There they were! The puppets I read about, the inflatable teacher, the worms even the life-masks of the four members of the band.
A large corridor.. there are beds everywhere! Is the time of “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” the beds are even hanging up from the ceiling! A couple of mannequins and their light bulb suits.. Mr Light and the “Delicate Sound of Thunder”.
Walking through the next room I can hear “Arnold Layne” playing loud somewhere, what it is that!? At this point you should know I am a massive Syd Barrett fan. Am I getting to the end?
The final act makes your heart beat faster, a bigger room with an unexpected concert experience .. Arnold Layne, High Hopes both playing the original music videos and and the end.. footage of the Live 8 reunion in 2005: Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb.