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Flower Power at the PalaisPopulaire
Assortment of buttons, ca. 1967.


BERLIN.- From June 20 to October 28, 2019, the exhibition summer of love: art, fashion, and rock and roll brings an entire generation’s attitude towards life to Berlin and builds a bridge to the present.

Many who were there glorify the time as a never-ending party. However, it was not only love, peace, and happiness that made the 1960s a decade of radical upheaval, but also the Vietnam War, student protests, and Warsaw Pact troops marching into Czechoslovakia. The peace and environmental movement, feminism and, sexual liberation—rights and freedoms that are taken for granted today—had their origins back then. And the starting point was the West Coast of the USA. In 1967, hundreds of thousands of people flocked to San Francisco to celebrate the Summer of Love. Those who weren’t there, now have the opportunity to immerse themselves in this era at a unique exhibition in Berlin.

The PalaisPopulaire brings this epoch to life again from June 20 to October 28, 2019, with the exhibition summer of love: art, fashion, and rock and roll. The show, conceived by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco,” presents over 150 objects and documents from that legendary summer, including psychedelic art on iconic rock posters and record covers, fashion, and rare photographs.

“You better find somebody to Love!” With this musical command, Grace Slick, the lead singer of Jefferson Airplane, welcomes visitors to the show. And music by bands from the Woodstock generation, among them the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, and Santana, accompanies the exhibition. Make Love not War buttons rain from the ceiling, transforming the walls into psychedelic flower motifs. A fabulous crocheted light-blue wedding dress is the first exhibit. It is followed by more than twenty-five original garments made of leather and denim, batik and imaginative patchwork that were worn every day in the Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco’s hippie district. Janis Joplin fans will marvel at her leather handbag embroidered in the art-nouveau style.
Artists experimented with color theorey, projectors and other media to design posters or accompany concerts with light shows. One of the most important protagonists of this “light art” was Bill Ham, who is represented in a special room at the PalaisPopulaire in which visual and musical experience merge.

summer of love at Deutsche Bank’s forum for art, culture, and sports enables all of the senses to experience how much music, art, and fashion created a new communal feeling. The exhibition is much more than just a nostalgic retrospective; it also builds a bridge to the present. As in the 1960s, contemporary society is also in the midst of a comprehensive upheaval.

“The young generation wants to determine its own future and champions the preservation of our ecosystem as well as social justice and nonviolence. We want to show parallels to that time, particularly in our accompanying program,” explains Friedhelm Hütte, head of the art activities at the bank’s art, culture & sports department and co-curator of the exhibition. “Today the ideals of the Summer of Love are more topical than ever before.”

More than 50 years ago, against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, love and peace and participation became the watchwords of an entire generation. Artists, designers, poets, musicians, and actors created a world with new art and communication formats. Jill D'Alessandro, who curated the show along with Colleen Terry, said: “The social developments in San Francisco and the Bay Area in the 1960s as epitomized by the Summer of Love catalyzed a set of ideas that would eventually lead to new norms: the birth of the natural food industry, concern for the environment, sexual liberation, and challenges to the nuclear family. The era’s political and social activism had a significant impact on the course of American history. The counterculture touched every facet of American culture, offering alternatives to the mainstream that still flourish today.”

“The hippie movement also had a lasting impact on literature”, says Dr. Claudia Schmidt-Matthiesen, head of the culture activities at the bank’s art, culture & sports department. “In a separate section, the exhibition shows many original editions of authors and cartoonists who in their books gave the movement food for thought.“ They include representatives of the Beat Generation such as Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, as well as European authors and visionaries such as Hermann Hesse and William Blake. The show also features the first Whole Earth Catalog, a kind of early Google in book form that was published in 1968.

The exhibition is accompanied by curator tours, concerts, as well as courses on Zen meditation, mindfulness, nutrition, and dance. On July 18, moderator Andrea Thilo talks with two special guests at the PalaisPopulaire: the art historian Oliver Zybok, who has dealt extensively with the Beat Generation’s influence on the visual arts, and activist Jamila Tressel, who wrote her first book, titled Wie wir Schule machen, at the age of fourteen.

Parallel to the show the PalaisPopulaire invites people to take part in the Instagram photo competition #OurSummerOfLove from June 20 to August 30, 2019. Participants are asked to distort photographs on the topics of summer, fashion, and music with creative effects, for example stickers or filters. There can be a thematic link to the hippie movement, but there does not have to be. The most creative work, selected by a jury consisting of members of the social media teams of PalaisPopulaire and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, wins a flight to San Francisco or Berlin.

Curators: Jill D'Alessandro, curator in charge of costume and textile arts; Colleen Terry, Associate Curator for the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, de Young Museum/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; and Friedhelm Hütte, Art, Culture & Sports, Deutsche Bank





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Flower Power at the PalaisPopulaire

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