Anna Calvi and Jake Shears lead the line-up for the Southbank Centre’s 50th anniversary celebrations of David Bowie‘s ‘Aladdin Sane’.
The iconic 1973 album celebrates its big birthday this year, and the London venue will play host to a two-month exhibition and a series of events celebrating 50 years of the LP, which is being reissued in April.
From April 6 to May 28, Geoffrey Marsh and Chris Duffy – whose father Brian worked with Bowie on the album’s iconic lightning strike concept for its cover art – will present a line-up of talks, live music and more based around ‘Aladdin Sane’.
Discussing the legacy of ‘Aladdin Sane’, Duffy said: “My father’s image of Bowie is often called the Mona Lisa of Pop. It’s important to remember it was the result of a short studio shoot using film, which then had to be sent out for commercial processing.
“There were no instant digital images or photoshop then. It’s extraordinary how it’s lasted and been endlessly reworked. Wherever I go in the world, it’s always somewhere on a t-shirt.”
On Friday, April 21, a host of artists including Calvi, Shears and Lynks will reinterpret ‘Aladdin Sane’ alongside the Nu Civilisation Orchestra, while Queer House Party and Queer Bruk will share Bowie-themed club nights.
Elsewhere, talks will take place across the two months, while the National Poetry Library will present a new collection based on the album called Aladdin Sound, while the Southbank will host a free archive display detailing Bowie’s history with the venue.
Find full details of the exhibition and buy tickets from 10am GMT on Wednesday, March 1 here.
Southbank Centre’s Artistic Director Mark Ball added of the celebrations: “We’re honoured to pay tribute to David Bowie, who made his Southbank Centre debut in 1969. The ‘Aladdin Sane’ album cover portrait is considered to be one of the most influential pop culture images of the past half century, and the music remains fresh and contemporary, so we wanted to recognise this major anniversary and reflect on the album and its artwork’s enduring legacy.
“It’s a work that continues to inspire today’s contemporary artists and the gender fluidity of the images still resonate deeply in queer culture in the UK and across the world.”
Elsewhere in the Bowie world, the V&A’s ‘David Bowie Is…’ exhibition is set to be made into permanent UK venue celebrating his legacy.
The exhibition, which first went on show in 2013, will now be housed in the new David Bowie Centre for the Study of Performing Arts at the V&A’s East Storehouse, in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.