V & A - You Say You Want A Revolution?

10 September 2016 – 26 February 2017, V&A Museum, London

This major exhibition from the V&A will explore the era-defining significance and impact of the late 1960s upon life today. From global civil rights, multiculturalism, environmentalism, consumerism, computing, communality to neoliberalist politics, the world we live in has been vitally influenced by five revolutionary years 1966 – 70. You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 70 will investigate the upheaval, the explosive sense of freedom, and the legal changes that took place resulting in a fundamental shift in the mindset of the Western world.

The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, 'Revolution' 1968 © Iconic Images, Alan Aldridge

The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, 'Revolution' 1968 © Iconic Images, Alan Aldridge

You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 70 will explore the way that youth culture catalysed an optimistic idealism, motivating people to come together and question established power structures across every area of society. More than 350 objects encompassing photography, posters, literature, music, design, film, fashion, artefacts, and performance that defined the counterculture will illustrate the way that a whole generation shook off the confines of the past and their parents, radically revolutionising the way they lived their lives.

Blow Up, 1966 © MGM THE KLOBAL COLLECTION

Blow Up, 1966 © MGM THE KLOBAL COLLECTION

Martin Roth, Director of the V&A, says, “This ambitious framing of late 1960s counterculture shows the incredible importance of that revolutionary period to our lives today. This seminal exhibition will shed new light on the wide-reaching social, cultural and intellectual changes of the late 1960s which followed the austerity of the post-war years, not just in the UK but throughout the Western world. Our collections at the V&A, unrivalled in their scope and diversity, make us uniquely placed to present this exhibition.

Christine Keeler, photographs by Lewis Morley © Lewis Morley National Media Museum Science & Society Picture Library

Christine Keeler, photographs by Lewis Morley © Lewis Morley National Media Museum Science & Society Picture Library

The exhibition will focus on particular environments that defined the cultural and social vanguard of the period, including Carnaby Street in London, clubs and counterculture, the Paris protests of May 1968, World Fairs including Montreal and Osaka, the Woodstock Festival of 1969 and alternative communities on the West Coast of America. Ideological connections will be made to the world of 2016, from the election battle to appoint the new president of the most powerful nation on earth to the rights of individuals everywhere to make a difference.
 

John Sebastian performing at Woodstock 1969 © Henry Diltz Corbis

John Sebastian performing at Woodstock 1969 © Henry Diltz Corbis

The exhibition is in partnership with the Levi’s® brand; Sound experience by Sennheiser with additional support from Fenwick and Sassoon.

All images courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London


 

lifestyle, artsBy Eddy Mason