Saturday, September 24, 2016

Revolution 1966-1970 at the V and A

A brief coda to my previous post reviewing this. A review in theipaper by Robert Bevan (copied from the Evening Standard) made two negative comments; that it was populist and that it ignored, inter alia, architecture. A brief response:

Firstly, I don't think you can critique an exhibition for being populist. Museums are full of high culture and whilst important and helpful it don't pay the bills. A certain amount of the common touch is necessary. Us commoners seem to have been, in the main, impressed.

And secondly architecture? Well most architecture built 1966-1970 was probably conceived pre-66. '...fashion is the most responsive barometer of social change ... you can react more speedily to the demands of the times with three-and-a-half metres of cloth than you can with, say, 5000 toms of reinforced concrete' (Marion Hume, The Independent, 2/12/94). Architectural ideas form 66-70 went up in the early 70s.

But I save the worst until last. The final scathing comment in a review that gave this exhibition 3 stars (out of 5) was that it failed to mention the Gay Liberation Front at the 1971 Festival of Light. Could it be that it was a year late? I only ask. I'm not a professional reviewer.

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