The exhibition borrows its title from the sociocultural phenomenon that took place fifty years ago in the summer of 1967. While in Europe 1968 might have more of a legendary status due to the student uprisings in Paris and the Prague ‘Spring’, 1967 was in many ways a more seminal year in terms of geopolitical, cultural and intellectual developments. It was the year of the Six-Day War, which irrevocably changed the landscape in the Middle East; the effects of this are still being felt today. In Greece it was the year that marked the beginning of the seven-year military dictatorship. Ironically, it was also the year that the UK applied for EEC membership. In the US, 1967 also saw the first major political protests by young people against the war in Vietnam. At the same time the outburst of new popular and subcultural music was also one of the defining features of the ‘Summer of Love’.
The exhibition Summer of Love will reflect on the unlikely liaison of love and politics, connecting the summer of 1967 to the world in 2017, where the idea of love – at least in intellectual but also political circles – is dismissed as naïve and sentimental. It is a mystery why, since love is one of the most potent – and complex – forces of human life. The exhibition Summer of Love will draw on these ideas and weave a web of cultural and historic reference points in order to link the ideas of fifty years ago to the present European crisis point, and perhaps inspire us to imagine a way out of the current political impasse. It is an opportune moment to do this. Fifty years have gone by; the postwar baby boomers are ageing and dying, and their youthful ideals have largely died out. We might ask: what went wrong, when and why? What lessons can we learn? Should we rethink these ideals? Can we learn from the experiences and disappointments of the generation of 1967? In a world that rapidly seems regressing, it is time for checks and balances in order to learn from history and to avoid making the same mistakes again.
Including works by Nicolas Kozakis, Raoul Vaneigem, Johan Grimponprez, Mikhail Karikis, Mäetamm, Uriel Orlow, and Marge Monko.
Curated by Katerina Gregos