In the mirror of art: “Summer of Love”


On the Greek island of Samos, an exhibition of the question, which tell us of the legendary “Summer of Love” of 1967. A cultural survey of the democracy today – beyond all nostalgia.

It started with red carnations and ended in Chaos. In 1967, it was the turn of the year in a landslide of time, and a year of ordeal for the Band “The Rolling Stones”. 17. April 1967, they appeared in the Panathinaiko stadium in Athens, the last scheduled concert of their European tour. A pitch-black night, not only because of the riots, in which Brian Jones’ Bodyguard in the fight with the Fans of lost on the stage a couple of teeth.

After the Song “Satisfaction”, the 6. Song of the concert, was Mick Jagger red carnations from the stage of rain – a Symbol of socialism. The wanted to prevent the people in power in Athens at any price: The police pulled the plug, the light went out, the concert ended in a stumble Around in the dark. And the band’s Manager was arrested Keith Richards the next day at the airport, detained, and for so long after drug searches, until he missed his plane.

Just two days after the Athens concert, a thunderstorm, staged a coup by the Greek military – of all the times in the year should bring peace, and the “summer of love”.

Legendary: The “Summer of Love” in San Francisco (photo) spilled over to Europe

“Summer of Love” in Greece

“We’re talking about 1968, mostly as an iconic year,” says the Athens art historian and curator Katerina Gregos. “The year 1967 was even more influential.” In fact, The Six-day war between Israel and its Arab neighbours, the military coup in Greece, the massive protest movement against the Vietnam war to a culture of protest that had never been previously justified. “At that time there was not only Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’ Roll,” says Gregos. “We owe the present-day emancipation movement, this time to 1967.”

Curator Gregos has taken in the Greek summer of 2017 and start your own Summer-of-Love-adventure in the Hand. She has not put together an exhibition on the island of Samos, from the myths, tales, and oversized nostalgic memories of the 1967 – with Batik cloths, VW-buses and some walking hashish-pipes. You can look in the future. “I wanted to make for years an exhibition on the Summer of Love, but nothing Corny, Sentimental and backward-Looking,” says the energetic Gregos, curated in the whole of Europe. “Rather, the nachstöbern, what was utopia and. And what are the consequences of it.”

Now just art: traces of the hippie movement of 1967

Concept art as a Memorial

It became a sensational exhibition, which has financed the Munich-based Schwarz Foundation. For years, she is on the Samos active. In the small fishing village of Pythagoreion, in the South-East of Samos only two kilometres from the airport, you end up in a port right next to contemporary art.

Between the festgetäuten, turquoise fishing boats on one side and the Bay on the other hand, rises all of a sudden, a modern grey concrete cubes; it was the kind of Space Pythagoreion. Here you can see the legendary “Summer of Love” was actually in a bathing suit and Slippers if you want. No one says anything. “Love is the institution of the REVOLUTION”, painted by the Greek artist Maikhail Karitkis banner-like over the entrance. A few streets have been renamed for the exhibition even after the locations of 1967, when the hippie world of the seaside resort of possession had taken.

Inside, it is strictly conceptual. The Dutch artist Marge he became a Black-and-White photo montage mounted with a giant pill package. It addresses the question of how the Anti-Baby-pill, it was since their introduction in different countries, first in 1960 in the USA, on the behaviour of the women affected: “The more I make Love/ The more I want to make Revolution,” at the time.

POP Art in music

Pop culture to album covers: the music reflects the year in 1967

In the art room there is a psychedelic, wavy, turquoise blue cuddly corner with Vinyl records and books to the year 1967. Record covers from the Doors to Andy Warhol, and many Greek Cover tell as well as protest posters of the ‘ 67 Generation. Who is today 20 or 30, can’t imagine what exploded for a cultural revolution at the time – for today’s Hipster heaven for the Hippies, is about as far away as the war stories of his grandfather. Samos serves as as a small stimulant to Inspiration and possibility of a direct historical experience.

1967 but it was also very, very political, which is also evident in the exhibition. The Belgian filmmaker Johan Grimonprez has just submitted to the great movie “Shadow World” on the international arms trade and the Western government investments in sales to Dikaturen of all Stripes. He cuts scenes of a political interview with Michael Hardt, and the Black-and-White-Film Alphaville by Godard. The master of the Nouvelle Vague, staged a frosty world, in the feelings and words like love, feeling, affection are banned. The heroine must find those words again and fight for it.

Current video art by Melanie Bonajo: “Night Soil Economy of Love” (2015)

In contrast, the American political scientist Michael Hardt pulls in a Text a direct line from the present to 1967: “As the Tahrir was occupied square in Cairo during the Arab spring, 18 days, was looking for the New York Times constantly, the responsible, the individual who stands behind it. The Fascinating was how different groups interacted. This was an important Experiment, the returns in the last few years, again in powerful movements such as Occupy. Not all succeed, but they stem from a political desire for democracy. I would call these movements ‘experiments in political love’.”

As long as we have a society that is founded on fear, there would be no peace, says Michael Hardt. Such sentences are included in the exhibition – in the summer landscape of Samos, which is dominated by tourists.

Lifestyle of the Hippies remained

According to the economic and refugee crisis, the tourists come back in droves to the island. However, there is no uncontaminated place: The Turkish mainland, is located only 1.2 kilometres, every day, refugees arrive here. On good days you can swim from Turkey to Samos. In the North of the island to 3,000 refugees are still living in a Camp, you are leaving a large part of never.

In the exhibition, I meet an Arab woman with a head scarf and sunglasses, leans over the exhibits. A Syrian journalist, which is itself escaped, and their names do not want to call it. She takes care of other refugees, and has even founded a small art initiative. “The Situation in the us is terrible. The food is bad, for the newcomers, there is nothing, not even a tent,” she says. Especially for women the situation was unbearable. “I came in the exhibition Summer of Love, because artists often have good ideas. Our refugee initiative has more often brought the refugees here.”

A summer Idyll: the tourist beaches on Samos are again well attended

A half-hour of Pythagoreion, in the North of the island, is a Hippie Beach. Four years ago, the last Hippie died here, inhabited the long-drawn-out Bay. There are only pebbles, no sand beach. But the Hippies also the Greeks followed. “We have seen the life of the Hippies, even as young people, talked with them, smoked and drank, even though our parents were strictly against it,” says the tenant of the Restaurants. Something of the Lifestyle of the Hippies rubbed off on the local population. In the Restaurant there is a dry white wine, and an easy-to-rural menu.

The legendary “Summer of Love” in San Francisco was on 6. October 1967, laid to rest – in a darkly macabre procession. On the Greek Islands of the spirit of Hippies, by contrast, is more alive. Here, hundreds of them found their refuge. The Wind that blows through the beach and the bushes of Samos, smells spicy. The spirit of Hippie Beach is still palpable here.