press release

Flashes of the Future
The Art of the ’68ers or The Power of the Powerless
April 20–August 19, 2018

Opening: April 19, 7pm

1968—no other year in the 20th century is given such a symbolic and iconic status, no other year is so studded with myths, viewed with bias, and kindles such emotions. Throughout the world, in more than 50 countries world-wide, frustration, anger and dissatisfaction with the status quo erupted in (violent) protest and war-like conditions. To understand the events of 1968, it is necessary to look at the complex social and political developments of the years leading up to 1968 such as racial and social injustice and inequality as well as the various armed conflicts throughout the world since the 1950s.

With half a century between then and now, 2018 presents the perfect opportunity to look back at this pivotal year of the 20th century that has shaped our present and future like no other. With the exhibition Flashes of the Future. The Art of the 68er and the Power of the Powerless, the Ludwig Forum for International Art Aachen highlights the role that the visual arts played in the 1960s: as a tool or medium through which to not only make visual but also to comment on and criticize these societal processes in a unique and innovative way.

The United States, France and Germany each inhabit an unique position within this context, which is reflected in the artists and works of art presented in the exhibition. The over 250 paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, sculptures and videos that compromise the exhibition aim to capture the scope and the diversity of this multi-layered decade of artistic practice by focusing on the most important developments, themes and tendencies of the decade. The exhibition aims to offer a comprehensive and transdisciplinary view of this year/decade through the lens of artistic production and practice.

As a cooperation partner, the International Newspaper Museum Aachen shows an exhibition focusing on the role of the media in the context of the protests of 1968. Of particular interest here is the influence of the Hamburg-based publishing house Springer on public opinion at the time and how this influence was generated and exerted.

Artists include:
Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Bazon Brock, Guy Debord, Niki de Saint Phalle, Erró, Valie Export, Jochen Gerz, Hans Haacke, Dieter Hacker, Richard Hamilton, Jörg Immendorff, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Edward Kienholz, Milan Knizak, Maria Lassnig, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Boris Lurie, George Macunias, Gustav Metzger, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, A.R. Penck, Sigmar Polke, Heimrad Prem, Robert Rauschenberg, Martha Rosler, Dieter Roth, Eugen Schönebeck, Aldo Tambellini, Günther Uecker, Wolf Vostell, Franz Erhard Walther, Peter Weibel, Wladimir Jankilevskij, HP Zimmer.

Publication: In conjunction with the exhibition, a comprehensive publication is published in the “Zeitbilder” series of the Federal Agency for Civic Education (eds. Andreas Beitin and Eckhart Gillen). 592 pages, German and English, ISBN: 978-3-8389-7172-8

Patron of the exhibition: Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Curators: Andreas Beitin und Eckhart Gillen

Supported by the Ministry for Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation, Cultural Foundation of the Federal States, Rhineland Regional Association