At MMK Frankfurt, a retrospective housed in a group exhibition mirrors the artist's rejection of conventional classifications, At Essex Street, New York, the artist presents an array of prefabricated objects through the lens of disability and chronic illness, At the Fondazione Giuliani in Rome, the artist looks at the playful and political aspects of disguises, At CLEARING, Brussels, the artist duo’s new handcrafted pieces reveal the sensuous in the clunky, At Bonner Kunstverein, the artist investigates our relationship to everyday objects, The duo’s installations at Galerie Templon, Paris, couldn’t be timelier, At Petzel Gallery, New York, the artist presents a suite of paintings inspired by the life-simulation game, At Lenbachhaus, Munich, the artist’s installations show why matter matters, At Museum Frieder Bruda’s Salon Berlin, the artist reflects on book burning during the Nazi regime, MACRO’s ‘Museum for Preventive Imagination: Editorial’ is an experiment with new exhibition formats, At COMPANY, New York, the artist presents nine, larger-than-life-size silicone figures, clad in the capitalist filth of a not-so-distant future, Caroline Achaintre Uncovers the Mysteries of Masks, Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel’s Eco-Erotic Sculptures, Anna-Sophie Berger’s Take on Immanuel Kant, Edward and Nancy Kienholz’s Disturbing American Symbolism, Pieter Schoolwerth’s Sims 4 Paintings Burst Our Filter Bubbles, Annette Kelm’s Photographs of Banned Books, A Group Exhibition in Rome Imagines the Museum as Magazine, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. When I first read the exhibition title “Hippie Modernism,” I made some bad assumptions. Hippie Modernism 's provocative, seemingly oxymoronic title announces the culture clash this show explores. And, although the show now reflects more Northern Californian artists than it did when it first opened at Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center in 2015, the framework is – as all modernisms should be – international. It includes the counter-design proposals of Victor Papanek and the anti-design polemics of Global Tools; the radical architectural visions of Archigram, Superstudio, Haus-Rucker-Co, and ONYX; the installations of Ken Isaacs, Joan Hills, Mark Boyle, Hélio Oiticica, and Neville D’Almeida; the experimental films of Jordan Belson, Bruce Conner, and John Whitney; posters and prints by Emory Douglas, Corita Kent, and Victor Moscoso; documentation of performances by the Diggers and the Cockettes; publications such as Oz and The Whole Earth Catalog; books by Marshall McLuhan and Buckminster Fuller; and much more. Nice Face Logo © It’s Nice That Designed & Developed by Bureau for Visual Affairs, Jun Lin on how graphic design brings a physicality to the written word, We dive into a new archive of over 1,000 book covers from the Arab world, Book designer David Pearson returns to Penguin’s bestselling series, Great Ideas, Graphic design is political: Jonathan Barnbrook on how we can build a better industry. Some of these pages feature real ads, publication covers, and layouts from the period, while others are fictional recreations (the McLuhan ad, for example, required restaging a photoshoot in order to translate an ad that was originally black-and-white into full color). British, Italian, Austrian and Brazilian participants all add to curator Andrew Blauvelt’s central argument that, despite its reputation for radical rhetoric and pre-modern longing, countercultural creativity is most substantially seen as a pragmatic extension of modernism’s formal quest to artfully and idealistically engineer human utopia. Courtesy: the artist. Indeed, ‘Hippie Modernism’ provides the backstory for any number of contemporary fetishes: the artisanal turn towards the handmade; the appeal of pop-up spaces and modest architectures; the fascination with wearable technologies; the use of drugs and Eastern spiritual practices to craft states of consciousness. Rural bohemians are represented alongside professional design teams, Black Panthers with computer nerds, mystics with professors. ‘Hippie Modernism’ wants to shake up our overly fuzzy narratives of the counterculture. At the heart of ‘Hippie Modernism’ is the notion of design being not a vehicle for product solutions or frictionless living but a prompt for experiment, a framework for novel collaborative action. ‘Design is the formulation of problems for the evolution of a new mentality,’ proclaims the Italian radical architecture group Superstudio in Supersurface: An Alternative Model for Life on Earth – one of their sci-fi photomontage films from 1972. As a signifer, the photo by Doug Lehman seems to perfectly encapsulate the friction implied by the term “hippie modernism” and, more explicitly, the counterculture’s utopian agenda being subsumed—and deemed a failure—by the conservative era that was to follow. experimentation, this odd hybrid of geodesic dome and prospector’s shanty was photographed by Barry Shapiro while collecting material for the 1973 book Handmade Houses: A Guide to the Woodbutcher’s Art. Its scholarly essays and interviews, typeset in period fonts and illustrated with black-and-white graphics, are interspersed with full-page color layouts How well the show succeeds becomes evident once you turn to the more overdetermined 1960s paraphernalia it includes, like psychedelic posters, protest signs and wacky clothes. Courtesy: the artist. Finally, the image on the cover of the book depicts the US Pavilion for Expo 67 (Montreal), designed by Buckminster Fuller and Shoji Sadao, as it caught fire on May 20, 1976. We should be concerned when such options cease to be advertised, for it is when those who seek change despair of its realization that violence becomes inevitable. The newsprint has faded, the slide projectors clack and wobble, the hallucinogenic tricks fall flat. Isaac Abrams, Hello Dali, 1965, oil on canvas, 213 x 152 cm. (I first saw this paper used beautifully by Laurent Fétis and Sarah Martinon in the design of the catalogue for the 23rd International Poster and Graphic Design Festival of Chaumont 2012.). Even the now-widely accepted links between the counterculture and Silicon Valley are on display, including a 1973 Community Memory computer terminal that once sat in a Berkeley record store, providing public access to the world’s first digital bulletin board. Typographically, we responded to lo-fi publications such as the Whole Earth Catalog, How to Build Your Own Living Structures, Be Here Now, and the Foundation Journal on one hand, and the iconic, corporate advertising language of the ’60s and ’70s on the other. Center’s exhibition catalogue Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia, which sports the sun-bleached binding and yellowed pages of a book that has weathered a library shelf since the 1960s. It might now seem like a pipe dream but, as the multimedia artist Gerd Stern puts it on one canvas here (NO OW NOW, 1962): ‘It is possible that it is possible.’, Main image: Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Women in Design: The Next Decade, 1975, diazo print on paper, 39 x 53 cm. The book also includes an extensive plate section, featuring images and descriptions of the projects featured in the exhibition. The public notices that follow are put forth to offer alternatives to our way of life, not to destroy it.”, Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403.
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