| Sufiyeh Hadian

Salute The Sixties at The V&A

The V&A Museum is bringing back the 1960s with its new exhibition You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970.

For those who missed the ’60s (or just can’t remember), The V&A is recreating the era of sex, drugs – LSD trips are included – and rock ‘n’ roll with a new exhibition: You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970.
The museum’s latest show invites Sybarites to explore the era-defining significance and impact of the late 1960s upon life today. From global civil rights, multiculturalism, environmentalism, consumerism, computing and communality to neoliberalist politics, the world we live in has been vitally influenced by five revolutionary years 1966 – 1970 – and this new exhibition 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.

Sybarites can see more than 350 objects encompassing photography, posters, literature, music, design, film, fashion, artefacts that 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 include 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 and the suits worn by John Lennon and George Harrison on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to name but a few!

img009.tifThe soundtrack to the exhibition – which will run from September to February – will largely be comprised of music from the personal collection of John Peel, cult radio presenter and musical tastemaker. Music will be played through Sennheiser headsets using innovative audio guide technology which adapts the sound to the visitor’s position in the gallery and be accompanied by interviews with pop culture icons – think Twiggy, Yoko Ono and Stewart Brand – from the decade.

Elsewhere, Sybarites can expect psychedelic light shows – aimed at evoking the feeling of an LSD drug trip – and seminal films such as Easy Rider and 2001: A Space Odyssey. 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.”

Tickets to the museum’s most controversial offering cost £16 and will contain a tongue-in- cheek warning for visitors, informing them that it contains “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.”

You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels, 1966 – 70 opens from September 10 at the V&A in partnership with Levi and Sennheiser. For more information, visit www.vam.ac.uk.

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