18 October 2018 until 17 March 2019
Pop and Protest

The exhibition 68. Pop and Protest brought together all the defining pictures, movies, texts and sounds of this era forming a complex atmospheric picture. The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) displayed about 200 objects including music installations, fashion, movies, photos, posters, design objects, historical documents and spatial ensembles such as Verner Panton’s Spiegel canteen, which showed what moved and motivated people in 1968 – in Hamburg, Germany and the rest of the world: awareness of their own rights, and the possibility to advocate their opinions publically through protest and revolt.  The year 1968 was shaken by dramatic events which lead to protests, and promote revolutionary ideas. At the same time, a global cultural revolution was initiated that imaginatively revolted against conservative authoritarian structures, propagated sexual freedom, and demanded equality for all people. Various avant-garde forms of expression in all artistic departments were the non-violent weapons of the time: progressive music, unconventional styles, bold designs, contentious theater, and socio-critical cinema d’auteur. Furthermore, there has been an unprecedented desire for critical discourse, public discussion, and civil disobedience. A common thread was hope; hope that the world will turn into a fairer place, that society will get more just, and that people will become better; hope that political suppression will stop, that borders will be overcome, walls will get torn down, and that sexuality will be non-exploitative. It is more important than ever to once again consolidate these ideas of freedom and self-determination in our collective memory. Current events show that central aspects of a free and democratic way of life are at stake (again): individual development of the self, fundamental rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press, democratic participation, and first and foremost open-mindedness towards what and whom we don’t know.

Further information can be found in the exhibition flyer (in german language)

The exhibition was made possible with the generous support of the Hubertus Wald Foundation, the Justus Brinckmann Society, the Körber Foundation, the Karin Stilke Foundation, the Martha Pulvermacher Foundation, the Rudolf Augstein Foundation and Edgar E. Nordmann.

We thank our sponsors Sonus GmbH and Mathmos.

Ill.: Ronald Traeger (1936-1968), Twiggy 1966, © Tessa Traeger