USA ‘68: Disorders and dreams. Fifty-four reportage images at MAST

MAST.GALLERY, Level 0, MAST Foundation / Bologna
10 June – 30 September 2018

The MAST Foundation, without betraying its mission of exploring the themes of work and industry, presents an exhibition focused on 1968 in the USA, not only to celebrate a key date but also to pay homage to photojournalism in the 1960s.

Art Shay, election campaign Richard Nixon, LaSalle Street, Chicago, 1968 © Art Shay. Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

Through 54 iconic shots by celebrated photo-reporters of the time, the exhibition documents the major events of one of the most significant cultural revolutions ever, on one side to retrace the spirit of the time, on the other to celebrate a glorious photographic genre —photojournalism— on the verge of giving way to the first colour live broadcasts on television.

Bill Eppridge, RFK campaigns in Watts, June 1968, Watts Section, Los Angeles © Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

John Olson, Wounded Marines riding on top of converted tank used as make shift ambulance during battle to recapture Hue fr. Vietcong, Vietnamese Army during Vietnam War. © John Olson. Courtesy Life Gallery of Photography / Monroe Gallery of Photography

Bill Eppridge, Senator Robert F. Kennedy and the Fearsome Foursome of the Los Angeles Rams football team – Tony Zale and N.F.L. Lamar Lundy, Rosey Grier, Deacon Jones, in Indianapolis, 1968 © Bill Eppridge

Steve Schapiro, Martin Luther King, Selma, 1965 © Steve Schapiro. Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

Bob Gomel, Muhammad Ali in front of the Alvin Theater, New York, 1968 © Bob Gomel. Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

Carlo Bavagnoli, Actress Jane Fonda in publicity still for motion picture “Barbarella.” © Carlo Bavagnoli. ©Time Inc

The year 1968 marked a radical change in public attitudes and beliefs. Photojournalism had a dominating role in the shaping of public attitudes at the time. Photojournalism played a crucial part in triggering this transformation: neither the Beatles nor the Rolling Stones, neither the moon landings nor the Vietnam War, neither Courrèges nor Twiggy, neither sexual nor political liberation, feminism or the Black Panther movement are conceivable without the crisp, high-contrast, black-and-white photographs that appeared in newspapers or without the first colour spreads in magazines. Andy Warhol’s disaster images and his endless rows of portraits of Jacqueline Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe would never have existed without press images. The assassinations of John Kennedy, his brother Robert, and Martin Luther King Jr. were covered in countless reports and photo series by the international press.