Their Mortal Remains


Rome, Jan 19, 2018

In the following months, Rome will host an event not to be missed by Pink Floyd fans and by all rock fans in general.  A major new exhibition about the band entitled “Their Mortal Remains” just opened in London, at the Victoria and Albert Museum and is now traveling to its first International show in Rome. The exhibition will be hosted at MACRO, the Rome Museum of Contemporary Art in Via Nizza. There will be over 300 items relating to the history of the fifty-year old band: starting from the 1960’s - when the late Syd Barrett was the band leader - to the present day, it will include unseen photographs, items owned by the band members, rare footage and interviews, and tour set props. 

The latter ones are definitely of paramount importance because Pink Floyd live performances have offered from the start a sort of both visual and musical experience. In England, they were the first to implement what is called a ‘light show’; during the performance the musicians were the secondary figures to a stunning choreography of laser lights, smoke, fireworks. Special effects and sound became the main protagonist of the scene (in addition to incredibly innovative sound systems, Pink Floyd were the first band to have their own tour lighting equipment, which over the years increasingly expanded and reached impressive sizes).

A special feature of their performances were large inflatable balloons depicting different objects: on the 1975 ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ American tour a pyramid-shaped airship would be flying above the crowd, while on the tour following the release of ‘The Wall’ the very characters of the album  would come alive in the form of giant puppets with protruding eyes. During the same ‘The Wall’ tour shows, a 12 ft tall paper-mâché wall was built in a short time separating the musicians from the audience for the whole second half of the concert, only to collapse in the show finale. 

On the ‘Animals’ tour the protagonist was the inflatable Pink Floyd pig, probably the most famous prop of their live shows, and the band’s message conveyor: during a Summerfest concert in 2006, the pig had a message printed on it reading "Impeach Bush", whereas during the Argentinian leg of the 2007 tour, the pig had the "Nunca Más" (Never again) inscription on its chest, borrowing the slogan used by the Argentine people against the Dictatorship when 30,000 people "disappeared" and were killed in the 1970s.

On other occasions the flying pig did really fly away and went missing, like during a Roger Waters' performance at the 2008 Coachella Festival, when one of the giant inflatable pigs floated away into the California desert. The organizers of the festival offered a $10,000 reward, plus free lifetime tickets to the festival in return for the pig. The deflated animal was found three days later at a nearby country club.

For exhibit tickets please contact Cultural Italy.

Nicoletta Lucia Paganucci
Cultural Italy Staff Writer