Pink Floyd, Their Mortal Remains on View At the Victoria & Albert Museum

As soon as you see the flying pig, the psychotic headmaster, the profiles of giant heads, you know it’s the iconic imagery of one of the most influential bands of all times – Pink Floyd. If people were asked to identify the actual members of the band, they’d probably have a hard time doing so, but recognizing any of the archetypal symbols and artworks of Pink Floyd would come naturally. After all, that is what the band wanted; they spoke through their music and they appeared through their unique visuals and mind-boggling artwork. The first thing displayed in Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains exhibition is a quote by John Peel which acknowledges the band’s anonymity: “They could have joined the audience at one of their own gigs without being recognized.” Victoria & Albert Museum presents a spectacular audio-visual journey through Pink Floyd’s phantasmagorical world, a show that takes us from the beginning of their career, all the way to the undying influence that is still present today.

“They could have joined the audience at one of their own gigs without being recognized.

Right from the start, this show does not shy away from dazzling the visitors with its ambition, magnitude and intricacy. As you enter through a replica of a touring van, the mind-twisting rabbit hole adorned with op art takes you to the next room, which is even more dazzling and psychedelic. Each part and every room of this grand-scale exhibition is carefully packed with artifacts, details and gems from the legendary rock band’s lustrous career. V&A makes the perfect venue for such an exploratory and unique show due to its uncanny ability to fuse pop culture with a high end gallery space. At certain points of the exhibit, the visitors come to ask themselves if they’re in fact going through an art exhibition or a wonderfully compiled display of a tour de force.

The 1970s was a unique period by any account, but the release of The Dark Side of the Moon placed a mark on the decade that would make it stand out in the history of music. Many artists of the time were experimenting and delivering some groundbreaking images, make-up styles, symbols and album covers, but perhaps none like Pink Floyd and their longstanding refracting prism design. There is an entire room of the show dedicated solely to this album and the indelible mark it left on history. Even 44 years later, this simple, yet striking visual remains as powerful as ever.

To say this show is a treat to the fans of the band, the music genre and the former decades, would be redundant; this show is a spectacle of history and culture which anyone would and should enjoy. You get the chance to remix classic tracks, walk through album sleeves, gaze at the original instruments, lyrics and other band memorabilia, all the while being exposed to the inimitable atmosphere of what is Britain’s most revered rock band to date. If there ever was a way to peer into the creative soul and the imaginative essence behind Pink Floyd, this would undoubtedly be it.

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