The London Museum sweeps visitors back to the 1960’s, during a period of time when ‘change’ became a popular word.
There is no question on how stylish and cool this latest exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum looks. Every single section has its own individual style that thrills and delights at every turn.
The challenging and almost aggressive sounding You Say You Want a Revolution? title of the exhibition certainly grabs the attention and says exactly what it means to do: inspire change through looking at a time when change could be found almost everywhere.
Focusing on the period between 1966 and 1970, You Say You Want a Revolution? looks at the ways in which art, music, fashion and other forms of popular culture changed according to events happening in the world around them. Whether it is expressing freedom or making a political statement through music as Sam Cooke did with the song ‘A Change is Going to Come’, which he wrote after he and his wife were turned away from a hotel in Louisiana and was recorded one month before he was shot and killed, or expressing yourself through the type of clothes that you wore, the exhibition reveals that there was no limit to how far the ‘revolution’ extended.
But the trouble with the exhibition is that it doesn’t really explore exactly how all this change came about. What was the key moment that people decided to change their attitude towards life and other people?
It touches on key points such as the Profumo scandal and wars but doesn’t seem to fully engage with them to explore their influence on people in general, instead preferring to keep it light and entertaining with a nostalgia vibe that runs through it from beginning to end.
There are plenty of references to The Beatles, who were the first British band to really break America and were a major part of the “British Invasion”, changing the way music was made and in turn people’s attitude towards it – particularly younger generations who used it as a way to express themselves. Countless handwritten lyrics and outfits are included and will delight any Beatles fans who come to visit.
For fashionistas there are plenty of outfits on display, reflecting the bold and confident style of the era, while there is plenty of album covers and photographs on display for the art lovers.
While the entire exhibition shows the powerful nature of people all uniting together for a cause and to want change to happen, it feels just slightly too big of a subject in terms of the number of sub categories that it covers and would have perhaps been stronger if it had maybe concentrated purely on the music or the changing fashion.
Yet, visitors will adore it for its pure nostalgic feeling and its bright, bold style that reflects the exhibition perfectly. A mixed result in terms of substance, but it is perfect in terms of style.
You Say you Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970 is on display at the V&A from the 10th September. For more information and to book tickets visit: http://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/you-say-you-want-a-revolution-records-and-rebels-1966-70.