The Saatchi Gallery’s new exhibition takes its name from a project devised by the photographic co-op Magnum Photos back in 1969. Fresh off the back of Nixon’s election, a group including Bruce Davidson and Mary Ellen Mark set out to document a time of upheaval, protest and social inequality. This exhibition brings together some of those original images alongside new photos taken by a host of contemporary photographers including Balazs Gardi and Zora J Murff, holding up a mirror to the America of 50 years ago.
You’d hope that this half-century gap would offer an opportunity to see what’s changed in that time, but the images unwaveringly show how much has stayed the same, if not worsened. We see the same towns and families held back by poverty; racial inequality continuing to streak through issues as diverse as climate change, education and home ownership; and continued clashes between people and state.
The exhibition frequently returns to the idea of the American Dream, with the sombre recognition that, despite the efforts of many Americans in the 60s, their dreams still haven’t come true. The young Black freedom marcher bearing an American flag in 1965 is displayed in the same room as photos from the BLM movement in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. In a photo so symbolic it’s hard to believe it wasn’t staged, a 60s anti-war protester holds up a chrysanthemum to a wall of National Guard soldiers. Fast forward to the present day, and there are riot police entering the fray amidst plumes of smoke, and Trump supporters storming the seat of democracy itself.
America in Crisis runs at the Saatchi Gallery until 3rd April. Tickets can be booked on their website directly or by requesting them from The Lexo Club Concierge at any time.
Prices may or may not include VAT & Booking Fees. These are capped at 22.8% + £0.20 per order. Offers, Tickets, Features or Access may be limited to eligible members only. Always read article fully or ask the concierge for more information.
Tickets are priced at £25 per person for members or £35 per person (sold in pairs) for clients. Please contact The Lexo Club Concierge for more information regarding this event or to make a booking...