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Indepth Arts News:

"Agitpop: Utopian Rebellion and Activism"
2008-02-14 until 2008-03-29
londonprintstudio
London, , UK United Kingdom

Forty years on from Paris '68, londonprintstudio celebrates the changing art of utopian rebellion and activism in this exhibition, which features international and contemporary work alongside a unique display of posters from '60's to 80'sNotting Hill and Ladbroke Grove. The neighbourhood was then centre of London's underground culture, and home to Pink Floyd, Heathcote Williams, Bob Marley, Don Letts, Aswad, the Pink Fairies, Marc Bolan, Chris Blackwell's Island Records, Colin MacInnes, The Clash, the Sex Pistols, Hawkwind and Motorhead. An on-line exhibition of work by new and contemporary activist artists will be on display, and accessible during the exhibition. An events programme and discussion boards will also be in place.

Prints, posters and multiples were the hallmark of 1960's Pop artists. Political poster artists embraced a mass-market consumer aesthetic, uniting the worlds of pop culture and politics. When protests broke out across France in May 1968, students occupied the print department of Ecole Des Beaux Arts, Paris, established the Atelier Populaire and created posters to support the struggle. 'Posters', they declared 'are weapons inthe service of the struggle and are an inseparable part of it. Their rightful place is inthe centres of conflict, that is to say, in the streets and on the walls of the Factories'.

Their simple, witty images inspired artists around the globe to turn their backs on the gallery system and create street posters supporting community and political movements in their own neighbourhoods.

How important have May '68 and Notting Hill been as influences for subsequent generations of artists, campaigners and designers? This exhibition will be of interest to artists and designers, and anyone with an interest in pop culture and popular history.

'I'm delighted that londonprintstudio is able to organise this exhibition', said John Phillips, londonprintstudio's director, 'londonprintstudio itself began in the early 1970'swith the optimistic intention that art could be both an instrument of, and inspiration for,radical social change. These posters address the issues of their day including squatting, the women's movement, Anti-Apartheid, the War in Ireland and more. They weremade in small runs, and with limited resources, yet they posses a vitality and graphic sophistication that can reach a contemporary audience today.'

A discussion and film programme will take place during the exhibition.


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