Aladdin Sane: 50 Years exhibition to celebrate anniversary of David Bowie’s iconic album

To mark the 50th anniversary of David Bowie’s iconic album ‘Aladdin Sane’, a host of events will take place at London’s Southbank Centre.

Aladdin Sane: 50 Years will feature a two-month exhibition exploring the creation of the album’s iconic artwork, including the legendary lightning bolt portrait by photographer Brian Duffy. album.

The exhibition, which runs from 6 April 2023 to 28 May 2023 at the Spirit Level of the Royal Festival Hall, follows the journey of this pioneering portraiture, showing David Bowie’s relentless imagery. Reshaping and mapping how it has paved the way for audiences to rethink their own identities.

Curated by Brian Duffy’s sons Chris Duffy and Jeff Marsh, the exhibition spotlights the vibrant music scene of the early 1970s, and the pivotal moment when Bowie and Duffy met. We start by contextualizing the .

We explore the unique relationship between musician and photographer, and the January 1973 photoshoot that gave birth to the iconic “Aladdin Sane” image.

Of his father’s work, Chris said: It’s important to remember that this was the result of a short studio shoot with film and then had to be sent for commercial processing. There was no instant digital imagery or photoshop back then. It’s amazing how it has persisted and been endlessly remade.No matter where you go in the world, it’s always somewhere on his t-shirt. “

Commenting on the Aladdin Sane celebration, Southbank Center Artistic Director Mark Boal added: We want to recognize this important anniversary and reflect on the enduring legacy of the album and its artwork, as it remains one of the most influential pop culture images of the last half-century, and the music remains fresh and contemporary. A work that continues to inspire today’s contemporary artists, the image’s gender fluidity resonates deeply with queer culture in the UK and around the world. “

The exhibition will be complemented by a stunning new book by Chris, Aladdin Sane 50: A Definitive Celebration of Bowie’s Iconic Album and Music’s Most Famous Photographs – With Never-Before-Seen Images, March 2023 It will be released from Welbeck on the 30th.

The Southbank Center Archives will also feature another free exhibit that explores over 50 years of history and ongoing legacy at the David Bowie Center.

From his performance at the recently opened 1969 Purcell Room to his subsequent performance with Lou Reed curating Meltdown, the Southbank Center’s annual contemporary music festival, the never-before-seen Archive materials will be made public.

Coinciding with the 50-year-old album’s release, the music artist will pay tribute to Aladdin Sane at the Royal Festival Hall on Friday, April 21. Hosted by the Nu Civilization Orchestra, Mercury Nominee Anna Calvi, Jake Sears of The Scissor Sisters, acclaimed RB singer Tavia, Roxanne Tatai, who has collaborated with the likes of Nitin Sawney and Shabaka Hutchings, and Masked Pop Maestro Lynx Serves and plays Bowie albums. It has all the hits like “The Jean Genie,” “Drive in Saturday,” and “Lady Grinning Soul.”

Meanwhile, in the foyer of Queen Elizabeth Hall, two nights of lively club music will celebrate Bowie’s unique character and influence.

On Friday April 21st, DJ collective and community platform Queer House Party will host a radical fun-filled program, while on Saturday April 22nd, the Afro-Caribbean inspired Queer Brook will host a dancehall event. , afrobeat, soca and more to make sure everyone can participate. -out party.

Talks and poetry events are also held on weekends. In the Purcell Room on Friday 21 April, the National Poetry Library presents Aladdin Sounds with her 10 of Britain’s most exciting poets.

Taking cues from the poetic language and powerful imagination of Bowie’s masterpieces, each poet is asked to write a new verse to correspond with each track, creating a spoken word version of the album that will be presented live on stage. Poets include Forward Award winners Luke Kennard, Keith Jarrett, Golnoush Noor and Mark Waldron.

Tickets for the exhibition, live music and talks will be available on Wednesday 1st March at 10am at

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