Until 2 October, CentroCentro (Plaza de Cibeles, 1) is organising the exhibition Fotografía pública. The Sixties, which explores the power of the image on the pages of books, magazines, newspapers… and its documentary and informative value, as well as the role of photographers as generators of opinion.
The Sixties brings together images from this prolific historical period, from Beatlemania to sexual liberation, the struggle for civil rights and the arrival of man on the moon, all of which appeared in photographic publications.
The explosion of the photographic multiplied during the 1960s, an era more conducive to mass culture than high culture. The prevalence of magazines, propaganda and advertising had never been greater. Photographic reports are best-sellers capable of generating public opinion on issues such as the Vietnam War. Now politics is aired in magazines and posters. Everything is sold with photos.
Artists find photography. Andy Warhol’s Pop Art as well as Gerhard Richter’s Kapitalistischer Realismus both make use of photos. This was the time of pop music, distributed on records with photographic sleeves. The faces of music stars and other mass idols were the stars of the poster craze, which crept into homes without leaving the streets, crowded with film posters, political propaganda and concert advertisements, some as brilliant as those of the Californian psychedelic scene.
The sixties are the last optimistic moment of the last century, an era capable of living up to date and proposing utopias that photographic publications recount and show in detail. A joyful fiction and an exhilarating journey that includes the barricades of May 1968 and the Russian tanks in Prague as well as the moonwalk and lysergic acid.