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Interstellar - press release Print E-mail

Pink Floyd Interstellar Exhibition

Paris, Cite de la Musique, October 10th 2003 - January 25th 2004
Major retrospective exhibition and rare film show
Press release and film schedule

Pink Floyd Interstellar ExhibitionTHIS EXHIBITION COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT THE SUPPORT AND COLLABORATION OF DAVID GILMOUR, ROGER WATERS, NICK MASON AND RICHARD WRIGHT, WHO PROVIDED THE CONTENTS FROM THEIR PERSONAL ARCHIVES and allowed the Cite de la Musique to use them to tell their story. Interstellar retraces the epic journey of a group whose early experiments helped to define psychedelia and progressive rock and whose concept projects from the 1970’s established the album as an art form.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the release of The Dark Side Of The Moon, this exhibition celebrates a band that has never gone out of fashion and whose approaches to sound, light, imagery and staging have influenced almost everybody at some time or another.

Loan items for this exhibition have kindly been received from: DAVID GILMOUR, ROGER WATERS, NICK MASON, RICHARD WRIGHT, STEVE O’ROURKE, EMKA LIMITED, MARK FENWICK, MFM LIMITED, MARK FISHER, PETER JENNER, JONATHAN PARK, GERALD SCARFE, PHIL TAYLOR, STORM THORGERSON, PETER WYNNE WILSON

THE EXHIBITION

Pink Floyd Interstellar ExhibitionYOU ENTER VIA A DARK CORRIDOR, a kind of time tunnel punctured with tiny windows, which takes you back into the unique sound world of Pink Floyd. Phosphorescent dates glow as gongs, cash registers and clocks recall the signature sound effects of their classic albums. This leads to the opening room of the exhibition, an evocation of the early days when four students of architecture and art met up in London, called themselves “Pink Floyd” and by 1968 had become the house band of the British underground scene. Chiefly this room celebrates the mercurial genius of the group’s original leader, guitarist and songwriter Syd Barrett; but it also contains mementos of their pioneering light shows, psychedelic imagery and some of the instruments used on their first two albums, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and A Saucerful Of Secrets. It charts the progression from the whimsical style of Barrett’s early compositions to the darker toned material which started to filter through after his replacement by David Gilmour, when bassist Roger Waters assumed responsibility for most of the songwriting.

The next three areas document the band’s experimental phase, the period in the late 1960’s when they released Ummagumma, Atom Heart Mother and soundtracks to the arthouse movies More, Zabriskie Point and The Valley (which appeared as Obscured By Clouds). Here you can view some of the instruments photographed on the cover of Ummagumma, the ‘Friesian’ cow which fronts Atom Heart Mother as well as some of the kitchen utensils featured on that album’s closing track Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast. There are also some contemporary posters advertising the films.

From here you enter an ‘echo chamber’, full of layered electronic textures and booming gongs, a sound reference to the long instrumental track Echoes from the band’s 1971 album Meddle. This in turn leads to a space devoted to the pivotal moment in Pink Floyd’s career, and the most influential concept album of all time, The Dark Side Of The Moon. While the music plays intermittently in the background, you can inspect Nick Mason’s Hokusai-style wave-painted drums, the Hammond organ used by Richard Wright when they played Pompeii and the VCS3 which contributed so many of the haunting soundwashes found on Dark Side. What follows is a contemplative area devoted more to the band’s distinctive imagery than to the music. It marks their mature phase in the mid 70’s, when they made Wish You Were Here - an album full of elegiac moods, infused with sadness at the loss of Syd – and Animals, a bitterly satirical attack on human frailty and folly. This offers another chance to reflect on the infamous inflatable pig which first appeared above Battersea power station on the album’s release in 1977, then broke free of its moorings and drifted off to France...

Pink Floyd Interstellar ExhibitionNext you pass through a one way mirror and emerge on the other side into The Wall, Pink Floyd’s most ambitious concept, a large scale dramatic exploration of the theme of alienation. Here you will find instruments, stage designs, uniforms and masks from the show alongside the cartoonist Gerald Scarfe’s animated projections. The Final Cut marks Roger Waters’ last word before he left the band in 1985 and the end room is devoted to the two albums the band went on to make as a trio, A Momentary Lapse Of Reason and The Division Bell. Formed like an amphitheatre or a teepee, the centrepiece here is a model of the stage designed by Mark Fisher for the Division Bell tour, Pink Floyd’s last live performance to date.

As you leave the Cite de la Musique you glimpse in passing The Wall in all its inflatable glory, blue pyramids from The Dark Side Of The Moon and the giant heads of The Division Bell.

RETROSPECTIVE OF FILMS

FRIDAY 10 OCTOBER 2003

7pm: PINK FLOYD THE STORY / Documentary BBC / U.K., 1994, 40 minutes
7.40pm: LONDON 66-67 / THE PINK FLOYD / Documentary Peter Whitehead / U.K., 1994, 33 minutes
8.30pm: MORE / Barbet Schroeder / Luxemburg, 1969, 110 minutes

SATURDAY 11 OCTOBER 2003

3pm: PINK FLOYD - THE WALL / Alan Parker / U.K., 1982, 95 minutes
5pm: SAN FRANCISCO / Documentary Anthony Stern / U.K., 1968, 15 minutes
7.20pm: PINK FLOYD - LIVE AT POMPEII / Adrian Maben / RFA/Belgium/France, 2003, 92 minutes
9.30pm: SYD BARRETT - CRAZY DIAMOND / Documentary BBC / U.K., 2001, 49 minutes
10.30pm: PINK FLOYD – BEHIND THE WALL / Documentary Bob Smeaton / U.K., 2000, 53 minutes

SUNDAY 12 OCTOBER 2003

3pm: PINK FLOYD BALLET / Dirk Sanders / France, 1977, 38 minutes
4pm: ARCHIVES BBC AND INA / U.K., 50 minutes
5pm: P.U.L.S.E.– EARL’S COURT 20 OCTOBER 1994 / David Mallet / U.K., 1994, 145 minutes

 
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