PRINT May 2008

MAY ’68


Spread from Suck 8 (June 1974). Editorial staff during an office break on the beach.

PERHAPS THE GREATEST promise of May ’68 arose with an eruption of spontaneity that, as it interrupted the dreary process of national politics, suggested it might indeed be possible to live differently. But could this difference arise over the course of time without the tempestuous cycle of action and reaction? For when the barricades were dismantled, the fabric of daily life remained largely unchanged. As Dutch Fluxus artist Willem de Ridder said of his postwar generation in a 2005 interview with the Los Angeles–based magazine Tease, “Our upbringing was death. Father was the boss. Strict rules. The word ‘sex’ alone was enough to give you a red face.” Not surprisingly, then, after 1968 the word liberation would have to migrate from a term used to describe anticolonial struggles to include almost all aspects of daily life. In the ensuing half decade, sexuality became central to

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