The Museum für Fotografie shows the exhibition “Blue Skies, Red Panic. The 1950s in Europe. A photographic review” since 29th January 2020. The photo exhibition illuminates an era that marked a new social and political beginning in Europe. A special exhibition of the project “Fifties in Europe Kaleidoscope” in cooperation with Institut für Museumsforschung – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.
The 1950s was a decade of transition and (re)construction, modernisation and change in Europe. This change was fundamental and reached all Europeans* who, after years of the Second World War, longed for a normality of everyday life with new designs, new consumer goods, new media, music and fashion.
Glamour, “home sweet home” and prosperity – these are familiar stereotypes that shape the myth of an iconic age.
But this is only one side of the coin. This era was marked by contradictions: many in Europe were still suffering from the consequences of the Second World War, such as hunger, poverty, housing shortages and displacement. On the one hand, there was rapprochement and cooperation between formerly hostile nations, but on the other hand, interstate relations were determined by hegemonic foreign policy and domestic repression, which exacerbated the already existing division of Europe into East and West and led to Cold War tensions to the brink of nuclear conflict.
The photo exhibition “Blue Skies, Red Panic” highlights an era that marked a new social and political beginning in Europe.
Through photographs from major European archives, the exhibition reflects historical developments and events in eight different European countries. The stories touch on society, culture and politics, oscillating between East and West, freedom and oppression, cliché and normality.
With a kaleidoscope of visual impressions, the exhibition aims to evoke memories that are familiar to us or invite us to a completely new discovery. Looking back on the iconic era of the 1950s in Europe, the exhibition offers a photographic retrospective, without falling into mere nostalgia, and promotes a critical understanding of the emergence of the European Union in which we live today.
After Pisa (Museo della Grafica), Girona (Centre Cultural la Mercè) and Antwerp (KU Leuven Faculty of Economics), Berlin is the fourth and penultimate station of this extraordinary travelling exhibition, which was made available and conceived by the partners of the project “Fifties in Europe Kaleidoscop””. Both the exhibition and the project are co-financed by the European Union within the framework of the “Connecting European Facility” programme.
Exhibition period: Wednesday, 29th January 2020 – Sunday, 23rd February 2020Zum Museum für Fotografie
Blue Skies Red Panic – Museum für Fotografie | Contemporary Photography – Photo Exhibition Berlin – ART at Berlin