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Pink Floyd Exhibition 'Their Mortal Remains' Opens in Rome

Their Mortal Remains at the V&A. Image courtesy Smash.com

Pink Floyd exhibition Their Mortal Remains proved that the band’s popularity hasn’t waned one bit over the years. The sellout show launched at London’s V&A in May 2017 and saw around 10,000 visitors a week pouring through its doors to see the exhibits.

It was so popular the museum extended the run for two weeks and it has become the most popular show in the museum’s history, with over 400,000 people attending, outdoing even the beloved David Bowie exhibition from 2013 which welcomed 312,000 overall.

One of the band's earliest photo shoots taken in June 1967 using the lighting they used in their early London gigs. © Andrew Whittuck

So it’s no surprise to find out that the blockbuster showboat of the band’s most iconic music, performances, stage props, album artwork and recording processes is now on tour. On Friday (19 January) Their Mortal Remains opens in Rome, allowing visitors to the city’s Museo d'Arte Contemporanea (MACRO) to experience the multi-sensory journey of the band’s birth in the psychedelic scenes of 1960s London, to the audiovisual assault of their A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour and their 15th, and possibly last, studio album, The Endless River released in 2014.


"The idea of beds for the Momentary Lapse cover came from a line of lyric - ‘Visions of an empty bed’ (Yet Another Movie) " notes designer Storm Thorgerson. © Storm Thorgerson

It flows chronologically and at the end visitors can enjoy the band’s Live 8 performance of “Comfortably Numb” as a 3D audio room-sized experience. And, exclusive to Rome, visitors will also get to see a video of “One Of These Days” which comes from the group’s celebrated performance in the amphitheatre of Pompeii which was recorded in 1971.

David Gilmour’s superb guitar solo during ’Comfortably Numb’. This was shot during Pink Floyd's The Wall Tour in New York in February 1980. © Jill Furmanovsky

Highlights of the show are too numerous to list, but include rooms dedicated to the late great Syd Barrett, flyers from their underground gigs at London’s UFO and Roundhouse clubs, giant stage props from their The Wall tour, music video props, the band’s instruments, sketches and design notes from their lifelong visual collaborators Hipgnosis—founded by Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell.

Which includes a whole room elaborating on the band’s classic album and artwork of Wish You Were Here—a self-reflective melancholy album about absence, fame and the music biz—including details on how they shot the famous cover, which showed two businessmen shaking hands, one of them on fire.

PinK Floyd in the Abbey Road studios during the recording of 'Wish You Were Here'. © Jill Furmanovsky

Where the exhibition is being shown, the Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, is also not far, less than a mile, from where Pink Floyd played their first gig in Italy, in Rome’s The Piper Club back in 1968.

On Tuesday (16 January) Roger Waters and Nick Mason turned up, along with Rome’s mayor Virginia Raggi, in Italy’s capital to showcase the opening. Mason has been heavily involved with the show and, along with Hipgnosis and production designers Stufish, acted as consultant for the V&A exhibition. Waters, conversely, hasn’t been as involved and only saw the show for the first time on Monday in Rome. But he was still thrilled with it.

Roger Waters and Nick Mason on a train to Edinburgh during the 'Dark Side of the Moon' tour in 1974. © Jill Furmanovsky

"Going through this exhibition and thinking about it yesterday, certainly the bits of it that I was involved with, which is the 70s, the work was consumed with asking questions about whether we can find within ourselves the capacity to make any sense at all of life on earth and our potential or lack of it to empathise with one another and so on and so forth.” Waters said. “So it was a very emotional and political journey through a short period of my life."

Pink Floyd Their Mortal Remains runs in Rome from 19 January to 1 July 2018. You can find out more here. And check out a video showcasing the exhibition, below.

Rockarchive is delighted to be able to offer these and many more iconic Pink Floyd images as limited edition photographic prints which you can buy here.

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