After London and Rome, the celebrated Pink Floyd exhibition "Their Mortal Remains" stops in Dortmund. In the Dortmunder U, a landmark of the city, which was converted from the brewery building into a centre for art and culture, a multimedia experience awaits the visitors from 15 September, which brings the guests not only the music of the legendary British band, but also the personality of its members closer. The Dutchman Edwin Jacobs, director of the Dortmunder U and artistic director of the Pink Floyd exhibition, spoke to the eclipsed about "Their Mortal Remains".
eclipsed: After the two world metropolises London and Rome, the exhibition is now taking place in Dortmund. Not exactly a world metropolis. Why much the choice on Dortmund?
Edwin Jacobs: I don't find it quite so surprising. Sure - Dortmund is not a world metropolis. But in recent years the city has changed enormously. Meanwhile, only museums and isolated relics remind us of the time when Dortmund was the centre of coal mining. Today we are experiencing a changing city that is breaking new ground with progressive and innovative concepts and reinventing itself every day. And not just in football for a long time now. What could be better than an exhibition that is not only one of this year's cultural highlights, but also tells of a band whose desire for change runs through their entire musical work?
eclipsed: Dortmund, however, has a"Pink Floyd past". In 1977 the worldwide "Animals" tour started in Dortmund and in 1980/81 Dortmund was the only city in the world next to New York, Los Angeles and London where Pink Floyd performed "The Wall". This special feature of Dortmund will be dealt with in the exhibition. If so, how? If not, why not?
Jacobs: Another point that shows that the exhibition could actually only come to Dortmund. Imagine that - one of the most successful bands of all time played a concert in the tranquil city of Dortmund 27 years ago. Now she returns to her old place of work and finds a city that has once completely changed. And also with the people in Dortmund itself the enthusiasm of that time is absolutely noticeable. The exhibition concept has a fixed framework, which was also given in London and Rome - nevertheless, there will be some activities around the opening that take up the theme. So it is worth keeping your eyes and ears open, especially as a Dortmunder.
eclipsed: Are there differences to the exhibitions in London or Rome? A new concept? A new orientation? Other exhibits?
Jacobs: The biggest difference to the cities mentioned, where the exhibition was very successful, by the way, lies in the unique location in which it takes place. The Dortmunder U has set itself the task of being a cultural meeting centre in which everyone from well-known rock stars to modern video artists and young people can find a place. Accordingly, the exhibition concept does not differ fundamentally from London and Rome, but in this unique cultural centre "Dortmunder U" it looks almost like a new exhibition - after all 350 exhibits on around 1,000 square metres on the sixth floor of this extraordinary building.
eclipsed: How much work is required for the production/preparation of such an exhibition?
Jacobs: As already mentioned, the exhibition concept was already clear when we were awarded the contract for the exhibition. However, the work only then really started. Apart from the logistical challenge that such a highlight brings, trucks with exhibits, technology and design elements, it is of course also necessary to stir the advertising drum and inspire the city for such a large project. The latter was not too difficult. Because once the name Pink Floyd comes up, people are usually already on your side.
eclipsed: To what extent does the exhibition about a rock band differ from other "normal" exhibitions?
Jacobs: Unfortunately, I wasn't involved in the development of the exhibition - which, by the way, was created in the renowned Victoria & Albert Museum in London. But I imagine that the creators wanted to create an exhibition that would do justice to the versatility and peculiarity of Pink Floyd. The makers have actually more than succeeded in doing so. I would even say that "Their Mortal Remains" is not even a real exhibition. Rather, you enter the exhibition rooms and immerse yourself completely in a parallel world. 50 years of rock music - to see, to hear and to feel. Awesome! When I visited the exhibition in London, some visitors even started crying at the grand finale. The exhibition experience is so intense, but so important was and is the band.
eclipsed: What is special about the Dortmunder U? What makes it particularly suitable for this Pink Floyd exhibition?
Jacobs: When I started a few years ago in the Dortmunder U, I was aware that it was not a location like any other. But what I have experienced since then I would not have thought possible. The whole house sees itself more as a project, is constantly changing and offers almost infinite creative possibilities. Most recently, Dan Perjovschi decorated the interior walls with felt-tip pens, while only a few floors of deep students made experimental films and an exhibition by a well-known artist was shown in between. In which museum do you find such a variety? This spirit is also reflected in the exhibition, where you can not only hear and see Pink Floyd, but also mix music yourself or stand virtually in the middle of a live performance of the band.
eclipsed: Was there a collaboration with the band / Nick Mason himself?
Jacobs: Of course, all band members were involved in developing the concept of the exhibition. This is the only way to find previously unpublished concert recordings and very personal exhibits of the individual band members in the exhibition. Now, in Dortmund, the band was not active until now, but we assume that the former members of the band will visit sooner or later. Then the circle that began in 1981 on the "The Wall" world tour in the Westfalenhallen closes for her.
eclipsed: What kind of audience awaits you? First and foremost Pink Floyd fans? What makes the exhibition attractive for "normal" exhibition visitors?
Jacobs: Of course, if you're a Pink-Floyd fan, you're really missing something. I think there has rarely been an opportunity to be as close to the band and the people behind it as there is now in Dortmund. But I know what you mean: Why should I, as a young person in my mid-20s, visit an exhibition about the music my parents heard in their youth? I think the band and their albums, performances and light shows are audiovisual masterpieces that are simply timeless. At the Juicy Beats Festival, for example, we were able to see that the younger generations also have an ear and an eye for the work of the boys. There was the Pink Floyd Exhibition 360° Dome. And with "The Fall into U" a visual and sonic trip of the FH Dortmund through the world of band discography. Quite a few young festivalgoers came to hear about it: Great performance, see you again in mid-September in the "U".
eclipsed: What is your personal connection to Pink Floyd? Are you a fan? How well did you know the band before?
Jacobs: Actually I'm almost a bit too young for the band. When the band's first albums were released, I was a little child. But that's what makes Pink Floyd special: her influence goes much further than you might think. Just think of festivals, fashion or other great bands and artists of today. Almost everyone has a little Pink Floyd with them here and there. And on this way I also became aware of the band. When the opportunity arose to bring the exhibition to Dortmund, it quickly became clear: We have to do this.
eclipsed: What are the highlights of the exhibition for you?
Jacobs: Without exaggerating: Actually, the entire exhibition is a single highlight. What impresses me most are the dimensions. Only the replicas of the legendary "The Wall" and the flying pig are incredibly impressive. The original cane of the band's teacher - the idea for the later world hit "Another Brick in The Wall" dates back to his school days - is also totally impressive. You really get the feeling the boys are facing you and telling you their story. Plus the incredible sound and impressive lighting effects - I can only say it's worth it!
*** Interview: Bernd Sievers
More information pinkfloydexhibition.de