MAY '68: STREET POSTERS FROM THE
1 May – 1 June 2008
1968 was the year that rocked the world. A time of unparalleled upheaval across the world, the remarkable events of 1968 created a legacy which was to shape a generation. To commemorate the revolutionary spirit of 1968, and to celebrate its own 40th birthday, The Hayward is presenting the first major display in the
These posters comprise some of the most brilliant graphic works ever to have been associated with a movement for social and political change. Produced anonymously by art students and striking workers, the posters were distributed for free, their bold graphic messages appearing on the barricades, carried in demonstrations and plastered on walls across
On New Year’s Eve 1967 the French president, Charles de Gaulle, broadcast his annual message to the French public. ‘I greet the year 1968 with serenity…It is impossible to see how
On 16 May students and faculty spontaneously took over the Ecole des Beaux Arts to form the Atelier Populaire (Popular Workshop), producing hundreds of silk screened posters in an extraordinary outpouring of political graphic art. In a statement, the Atelier Populaire declared the posters ‘weapons in the service of the struggle and are an inseparable part of it. Their rightful place is in the centres of conflict, that is to say, in the streets and on the walls of the factories’. Created using bold colours on white backgrounds, these posters combined imagery with slogans to provocative effect: A green tank sits beneath the slogan ‘Light wages – Heavy Tanks’; de Gaulle appears with a Hitler moustache; and a beautifully stylised flock of sheep are accompanied by the phrase ‘return to normal’.
The exhibition is organised by Johan Kugelberg in collaboration with Ralph Rugoff, Director of The Hayward, Caroline Hancock, Curator, The Hayward, and Jeff Boardman, Creative Director of Freewheelin’. It is supported by Converse.
Interview about May '68 with Johan Kugelberg at creativereview.co.uk
Exhibition review at socialistworker.co.uk
Daily Telegraph exhibition review