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You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970 Exhibition is on now at the V&A Museum

You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970 is a new V&A Museum major exhibition, now on display until Sunday, 26th February, that must be SEEN. It takes you to a trip from 1966 to 1970; five extraordinary years of defining significance and impact on our present and future, expressed through some of the greatest music and performances of the 20th century, alongside fashion, film, design and political activism.

You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970 is a new V&A Museum major exhibition, now on display until Sunday, 26th February, that must be SEEN. It takes you to a trip from 1966 to 1970; five extraordinary years of defining significance and impact on our present and future, expressed through some of the greatest music and performances of the 20th century, alongside fashion, film, design and political activism.

Revolution exhibition photography 06-09-2016

The exhibition explains the seven revolutions that took place in those five years, from 1966 to 1970: revolution in youth identity, revolution in the head, revolution in the street, revolution in consuming, revolution in living, revolution in communicating, and an-ongoing revolution, still present nowadays.

Revolution exhibition photography 06-09-2016

Those were times of change. The 1960’s turned nearly everything upside down; people’s attitudes, politics, art, fashion, sex, drugs, music, technology… London was dubbed ‘The Swinging City’, reflecting the upheaval that was taking place in British society. It was the time when Bazaar on the King’s Road and Biba on Carnaby Street set the way the younger generation would dress; drugs were used as a source of inspiration for creative experimentation in music, art, film and literature which, alongside new technologies and sounds, opened the doors to another way of making art; May 1968 saw the revolts in Paris quickly spread worldwide, inspiring social conflict and revealing political repression. People massively opposed the war in Vietnam, and gay rights activists and women’s liberation groups started to demand equality. Cash started being substituted by credit cards, televisions became part of everyone’s lives, and people thought everything was possible after seeing Neil Armstrong land on the moon.

Revolution exhibition photography 06-09-2016

Revolution exhibition photography 06-09-2016

Youngsters lived much more comfortably than ever before, but many of them felt discontented and disillusioned, which increased their political engagement in search of a better world, completely opposed to that of the post-war years: libertarian hippies, Woodstock, sexual liberation, equality as a means to make a better world, a quest for going back to nature, living as part of a community…

Revolution exhibition photography 06-09-2016

Revolution exhibition photography 06-09-2016

Coinciding with this exhibition, the V&A museum has launched a pop-up retail space on Carnaby Street where you can get unique objects, such as a scarf designed by Beatles illustrator Alan Aldridge; a pair of limited edition Levi’s jeans made to commemorate the V&A show; Jimi Hendrix’s guitar; the outfit designed by Ossie Clark for Mick Jagger; shirts worn by John Lennon and George Harrison on the cover of St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; the Acid Test poster designed by Wes Wilson in 1966 and other memorabilia from the exhibition.

Revolution exhibition photography 06-09-2016

Revolution exhibition photography 06-09-2016

On Wednesday, 12th October, at the Lydia and Mandred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, there will be a free lunchtime lecture with curator Geoff Marsh, during which he will discuss how this exhibition was made, and examine in detail the influence of this period in current concerns such as environmentalism, technology, neo-liberalism… After visiting this major exhibition, you’ll end up wondering how many of those concerns are still unresolved nowadays. Fifty years later, is the only lasting revolution in post-industrial Britain that of consumerism?