Psy[k]é/Off the Wall. Affiches psychédéliques de San Francisco 1966-1969

In 1966, San Francisco became the cradle for a new generation, the hippies. Thousands of young arrived from all over the United States, settling in the small working-class district of Haight-Ashbury, whose population soared from 700 to 10,000. They founded an autonomous community with its own social structure and codes: vestimentary, philosophical and spiritual (with LSD to help them step through the looking-glass and flee reality), graphic and artistic (with the advent of ‘happenings’ and the organisation of largescale gatherings such as the Human Be-In, Monterey and Woodstock), and finally, musical (with psychedelic rock stirring up rejection and hope).

The term ‘psychedelic’ was first used by the psychiatrist Humphrey Osmond to describe the way in which hallucinogenic drugs affected awareness, modifying visual and aural sensations. The experience was a ‘voyage’ into the world of the imagination, like Alice’s in Wonderland. Psychedelic posters appearing on the streets of San Francisco helped establish this counter culture, like a pacific but direct attack on the conformity of society. do ssier de présentation Graphic designers drew upon a repertoire of shifting forms and vibrant colours in creating these posters.

This exhibition displays 150 of these psychedelic posters created in San Francisco from 1966-1969 – each of them the result of graphic, artistic and sensory experimentation. They embody the aspirations of a generation who claimed both rock music and individual freedom.

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