UNIBA Polo Universitario di Taranto
via Duomo 258 – TARANTO, TA
MArTA (Museo Nazionale Archeologico di Taranto)
via Cavour 10 – TARANTO, TA
Photographs by Baron Wolman and Donald Silverstein
a cura di ONO Arte Contemporanea
The exhibition celebrates, on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary, what was undoubtedly the most important music festival in the history of Rock, when 500,000 people from all over the world camped near the small rural town of Woodstock, in the state of New York, for a three-day event of music and peace, as stated in the famous claim of the event.
All the biggest names of the music scene of the time, including Jimi Hendrix, Who, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, Carlos Santana, Grateful Dead, Joe Cocker, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Neil Young and many others, took turns on stage. To witness these three days there was Baron Wolman, former chief photographer for Rolling Stones magazine, who with his camera captured one of the greatest revolutions in the history of popular culture, Woodstock indeed.
But Wolman’s camera did not just capture the artists on stage or behind the scenes. Baron Wolman turned his lens to the public and documented this defining moment of a generation: the generation of Peace and Love. Wolman’s photos still vividly and not at all documentary-like give us back the atmosphere of the festival: the dirt roads invaded by people who climbed the hills to attend the concert; the cars abandoned along the road and used as beds; improvised shacks and tents surrounded by cows from the nearby grasslands; the thousands of bodies tangled over each other.
Next to Wolman’s photos there are also those by Donald Silverstein, the great American photographer who in 1967 through his pictures immortalized Jimi Hendrix, symbol of the psychedelic music of the ’60s, as well as the performer who closed the Woodstock Festival, to celebrate the greatest guitarist ever, at the height of his career.
The studio photos, some of which were taken with his bandmates Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, show a Jimi Hendrix already aware of his fundamental role in the history of pop culture. Hendrix was in fact revolutionizing popular music from within, from its capital, the so-called Swinging London. Not only did Hendrix change forever the way to play the electric guitar, but he also became the greatest performer of so-called psychedelic music, contributing to the handover between London and San Francisco, a city that was to become the new capital of music and youth trends.
The exhibition is spread over two floors of the National Archaeological Museum of Taranto – MArTA – in a dialogue with the permanent collection of the same museum that puts together two cultures that only apparently may seem one the opposite the other. The American counterculture of the “flower power”, the season of free love and great youth gatherings is often associated with philosophical currents of oriental or oriental-sounding inspiration, but we must not forget that it is precisely in Magna Graecia – whose archaeological heritage is largely preserved in MArTA – that some practices central to the movement of “Peace and Love” had flourished, including veganism, which originated in Pythagoreanism, and collective gatherings that had one of their greatest acknowledgments and expressions in the Woodstock Festival and that owe so much to the classic Dionysian rites.
© Donald Silverstein
© Baron Wolman
Opening times: 10:00-19:00.
Every day except Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday 8 JUNE special opening
MArTA (National Archaeological Museum of Taranto)
8:30-19:30 from Monday to Saturday;
9:00-13:00 and 15:30-19:30 Sundays and non-OPENDAY holidays.