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Art, Music, Film, and Politics

Pop artists in the Americas engaged youth culture, grass roots movements, experimental schools and universities, advertising, and mass media in the 1960s and 1970s. Most of all, they struggled over what it meant to be popular and what it meant to be free. During these decades, the American continent from South to North experienced repressive military and political party dictatorships, and violent struggles for civil rights. At the same time, some economists and politicians celebrated the expansion of the “free market” and “freedom of choice.” The works chosen for this exhibit on "Pop Art in the Americas" reveal when these ideas of popular expression and freedom are valued, and when they are considered dangerous. Organized in three sections dedicated to themes of consumerism, national identity, and the body, the exhibit sets out the tensions and collaborations between North and South America around questions of expression, communication, social responsibility, and political action.

Image credits: Felipe Ehrenberg. Give Me Libert, 1969 (right) and Anna Maria Maiolino, Gulp Gulp Gulp, 1968 (left).