The early or mid life of David Bowie, that musical genius and sensation of the arts is explored in this piece. He lived in a run down, former mansion and hosted parties, band jams, music concerts and recitals. He experiments with his sound, his act and his look. He takes in his brother who suffers from psychosis, he takes in Syd Barrett, the man whose mind was destroyed by acid and has a child with Angie his wife. A world of creativity, magic and the power of art all are on show and we experience Bowie as he will become.
Nejib makes a visually distinct piece, with wonderful colour tones, merged images and block forms. The piece makes you invest with its poetic wit and inventive use of storytelling. Bold and using the view point of a house as its driving force, it constructs a world of ambition without being to connected just to one person. Layered inside that are the notes of luck, craft and obsession that is the key to the artist as a crafts person. Nejib also adds some homages to the record shop and French film. The incorporation of the house in scenes that have elements of Tati are also rather fun.
The work is reverential and engaging in its space but for me the only negative was how we see Bowie. He is seen as a little empty however and makes statements that are less compelling then some of his contemporaries. This maybe noted in truth but I feel that Nejib loses a length in the conversation. The lacking of definition in Bowie’s character pulls you out occasionally but the piece as a whole works. It is a very refreshing, if only slightly to short and too limited in scope view of a major artist. A man that would change the face of pop and the face of culture for many years to come.