History of Art Research Seminar: David Hopkins | Oz magazine and Surrealism's Legacy: Children, Obscenity and the Politics of Counter Culture


  • Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 17:15 to 18:30

  • Hunter Building, Hunter Lecture Theatre (017)
    74 Lauriston Place
    Edinburgh
    EH3 9DF

David Hopkins is Professor of Art History at the University of Glasgow. He has published widely on Dada and Surrealism, and post-1945 art and theory.

His books include After Modern Art: 1945-2000 (Oxford University Press, 2000); Dada’s Boys: Masculinity After Duchamp (Yale University Press, 2007), Virgin Microbe : Essays on Dada (co-edited, 2014), and the recently published Companion to Dada and Surrealism (Blackwell, 2016).

He has curated several exhibitions, including Childish Things (2010-11) for the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, which formed the initial stage of his current research project on modern art and the culture of childhood.

Oz magazine and Surrealism's Legacy: Children, Obscenity and the Politics of Counter Culture

This talk, dealing with the British magazine Oz (48 issues, 1967-73), is an offshoot of his present research. Oz was a heady mélange of psychedelic graphics and articles promoting the sexual revolution, which epitomised the British counter-culture of the late 1960s. Its editors were famously put on trial in 1971 on a charge of "conspiracy to corrupt public morals". The magazine’s mergers of sexual politics and psychological experimentalism in many ways represent a Surrealism for the 1960s. The question is, though, how truly surrealist was Oz? Did it merely participate in the wholesale dumbing-down and assimilation of Surrealism to fill a youth culture niche, or was it an attempt to provoke the kind of ‘crisis of the real’ called for by the surrealists?

The event is free and open to all.

This event is part of the History of Art Research Seminar Series of talks by guest speakers and colleagues. Find out more about the series.