A dad and his daughters, loving life in New York City

Thursday, June 14

Summer of Love at the Whitney

Let me just start by saying that I was four years old during the Summer of Love-aka-1967, living with my grandparents in the decidedly unhippie enclave of Chappequa, New York.

Basically: missed the moment by a mile.

So it wasn't nostalgia, exactly, that was provoking the pleasure I felt at the Whitney's huge new exhibit of period photography, paintings, posters, graphic design, and films. Nor, really, was it the individual works themselves, though I certainly liked some of them, because this show is definitely more about artifacts than art. It was more like: here is a slender slice of a brief moment in our cultural history that for whatever reason—romancing the idealism, the drugs, the energy, the thrill of rebellion—continues to resonate today. Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen so many people smile so much at an art show.

Make no mistake, this is an astonishingly narrow view of the time—there are no black people here, for example—but once you except the exhibition's limitations, there is quite a lot to engage you. I particularly enjoyed the large walls of posters (individually, nothing you haven't seen a million times before, but hanging all together they packed a nice visual punch); the dozens of photographs—far more journalistic than artistic—of the Dead and Dylan and Janis and Jimi and the Beatles and the Stones, of hippies on acid and protesting the war and hanging in the Haight and the East Village and on Carnaby Street, of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters on their magic bus, heading Furthur; and Verner Panton's large, foamy, trippy installation—the line was too long for me to go inside, but I would have if I could have—Phantasy Landscape Version II, pictured below, thanks to nymag.com.

Anyway, here are a few more photos, all taken surreptitiously—ironically, the exhibit was crawling with security... Stick it to the Man!—and therefore all pretty poor.

One of several Blow-Your-Mind-type installations...


There were a few whimsically-printed sheets of blotter acid on view. Looks like four or five people had some fun before they framed this one...


The Roger Whitaker Beatle collages were a personal favorite, especially the one of John with flowers coming out his head, which is just above these two...


There were lots of underground publications on display—such as Oz magazine—as well as album covers...


Acid-induced ecstasy...


And dig Captain Trips, in the Strobe Room! Nausea ensued...


The Summer of Love takes up the Whitney's third and second floors, and will be open through September 16. There are a number of interesting-sounding slates of short films playing as well, but I missed them.

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2 Comments:

Blogger a.nawrocky said...

so you took all these photos? right, it just so happens The Whitney museum puts your photo of the multi-colored chill room, on their cover website page?

9:26 PM, August 19, 2007

 
Blogger Scott said...

Hi a.nawrocky. Thanks for your copyright concerns, and you had me worried there for a second, but then I checked, and, yes, I did in fact credit nymag.com in the text for the multi-colored chill pic (I remember now that I couldn't sneak a shot).

Thanks again, though, and I hope you'll keep reading Scoboco...

10:33 PM, August 19, 2007

 

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