• Walter de Maria, Hamburg, 1968. Photo: Angelika Platen.

    Walter de Maria, Hamburg, 1968. Photo: Angelika Platen.

    “1968: The Great Innocence”

    Kunsthalle Bielefeld
    Artur-Ladebeck-Straße 5
    March 15–August 2, 2009

    Curated by Thomas Kellein

    Hot on the heels of last spring’s nostalgic fortieth-anniversary commemorations of May ’68 comes this attempt to assess its impact on the world of art. Gathering together works in various media by approximately two hundred artists, Thomas Kellein’s “1968” deems that year a watershed, from the development of Land art and Conceptual strategies to the rise of photography, film, and video as legitimate vehicles of artistic production. Whether we can so easily map the artistic neo-avant-garde onto the era’s political contestations remains to be seen: Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois and Lawrence Weiner—to mention only a few of the artists represented in the show—each epitomize vastly different engagements with contemporary history. But in a political season dominated by hope, perhaps innocence will prove resonant once again.