In talks with Geoffrey Rayner; POP! Design, Culture, FashionWednesday, 11 July 2012
Why did you decide now was the time to put the Pop book together looking back at 20 years worth of influence?
The Pop exhibition has been planned for three years, (since 2009) and now seemed the right moment to also do the book.
Why do you consider '56-'76 as such a key period of fashion/arts/Pop culture history?
That's the period when youth culture - POP- transformed western society dramatically. When women's lib, gay lib, black civil rights and those of all minorities came to the fore, to the accompaniment of a revolutionary new kind of music and, hopefully, a freer, more equal and less prejudiced way of life.
You span many different mediums, how long has the book been in progress?
Gestating for over 20 years, but written and published this year in 6 months.
How did the idea come about to put together a coordinating exhibition with it?
An exhibition and book have been our goal since 1990, meeting up with Dennis Nothdruft, curator of the Fashion and Textile museum in 2008 was a meeting of minds, and the crucial factor in finally realising it.
Book supports exhibit or exhibit supports book? How do you aim for them to work against one another?
Book and exhibition are integral to each other, the book will give the exhibition a long after life.
What do you think is the main influence the time has had upon our new multimedia world today? And what is the main message you want visitors to take away from the exhibit?
Pop culture questioned and broke traditional social and cultural boundaries, barriers and taboos, it was anti-war and the oppression and control of the majority by the vested interests of powerful elites. Essentially it was non-competitive and anti materialistic, concerned with the joy of living, in a tolerant and accepting society. Value and status was expressed in the originality, wit and imaginative quality of a design and the materials used, rather than an intrinsic financial worth demonstrated through the visible flaunting of elite labels or the uniformity of homogenised mass produced clothing and design.