The exhibition 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.
Highlights on display will show the creative, social and legal outputs of revolutionary new ways of living. They will include underground magazines from “Oz” to the “International Times”; a shopping list written behind barricades during the 1968 Paris student riots; a moon rock on loan from NASA alongside the space suit worn by William Anders, who took the defining “Earthrise” photograph on the Apollo 8 mission; a rare Apple 1 computer; an Ossie Clark costume for Mick Jagger; original artworks by Richard Hamilton; shards from Jimi Hendrix’s guitar; the suits worn by John Lennon and George Harrison on the cover of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and handwritten lyrics for “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by the Beatles.
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.
The collection of the cult radio presenter and musical tastemaker John Peel will provide a musical odyssey through some of the greatest music and performance of the 20th century from Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come”, to The Who’s “My Generation” to Jimi Hendrix live at Woodstock. Sound will be integrated with video and moving image, including interviews with key figures from the period including Yoko Ono, Stewart Brand and Twiggy, psychedelic light shows and seminal films including “Easy Rider” and “2001: A Space Odyssey” to create a fully immersive and dramatic audiovisual experience.
You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 70
In partnership with the Levi’s® brand; Sound experience by Sennheiser With additional support from Fenwick and Sassoon
10 September 2016 – 26 February 2017 vam.ac.uk/revolution | #RecordsandRebels