October 24, 2015 – February 28, 2016
The Walker Art Center
Minneapolis

This Walker-organized exhibition, assembled with the assistance of the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, examines the intersections of art, architecture, and design with the counterculture of the 1960s and early 1970s. A time of great upheaval, this period witnessed a variety of radical experiments that challenged societal and professional expectations, overturned traditional hierarchies, explored new media and materials, and formed alternative communities and new ways of living and working together. During this key moment, many artists, architects, and designers individually and collectively began a search for a new kind of utopia, whether technological, ecological, or political, and with it offered a critique of the existing society.

Loosely organized around Timothy Leary’s famous mantra, “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out,” the exhibition charts the evolution of the period, from pharmacological, technological, and spiritual means to expand consciousness and alter one’s perception of reality, to the foment of a publishing revolution that sought to create new networks of like-minded people and raise popular awareness to some of the era’s greatest social and political struggles, to new ways of refusing mainstream society in favor of ecological awareness, the democratization of tools and technologies, and a more communal survival.

Presenting a broad range of art forms and artifacts of the era, Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia features experimental furniture, alternative living structures, immersive and participatory media environments, alternative publishing and ephemera, and experimental film. Bringing into dramatic relief the limits of Western society’s progress, the exhibition explores one of the most vibrant and inventive periods of the not-too-distant past, one that still resonates within culture today.

Curator: Andrew Blauvelt

Curatorial Fellow: Jordan Carter

Curatorial Research Assistant: Anna Renken

More information: www.walkerart.org

Ira Cohen, Jimi Hendrix, 1968 Courtesy Ira Cohen Archive, LLC
Ira Cohen, Jimi Hendrix, 1968
Courtesy Ira Cohen Archive, LLC
Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida, CC5 Hendrixwar/Cosmococa Programa-in-Progress, 1973 Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2007
Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida, CC5 Hendrixwar/Cosmococa Programa-in-Progress, 1973
Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2007
Haus-Rucker-Co (Günter Zamp Kelp, Klaus Pinter, and Laurids Ortner), Environment Transformer / Fliegenkopf (Environment Transformer / Flyhead), 1968 Photographer: Ben Rose, Courtesy Archive Zamp Kelp
Haus-Rucker-Co (Günter Zamp Kelp, Klaus Pinter, and Laurids Ortner), Environment Transformer / Fliegenkopf (Environment Transformer / Flyhead), 1968
Photographer: Ben Rose, Courtesy Archive Zamp Kelp
Ken Isaacs, Superchair, 1968/2014 Photo: Greg Beckel, ©Walker Art Center
Ken Isaacs, Superchair, 1968/2014
Photo: Greg Beckel, ©Walker Art Center
Ant Farm, Media Van v.08, 2008 Photo: Greg Beckel, ©Walker Art Center
Ant Farm, Media Van v.08, 2008
Photo: Greg Beckel, ©Walker Art Center
Ken Isaacs, The Knowledge Box, 1962/2009
Ken Isaacs, The Knowledge Box, 1962/2009
Photo: Greg Beckel, ©Walker Art Center
Photo: Greg Beckel, ©Walker Art Center
Photo: Greg Beckel: ©Walker Art Center
Photo: Greg Beckel: ©Walker Art Center
View of the exhibition Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia, 2015 Photo: Greg Beckel, ©Walker Art Center
View of the exhibition Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia, 2015
Photo: Greg Beckel, ©Walker Art Center
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