Beat Generation New York San Francisco Paris
Directed by Philippe Alain Michaud
What other cover than the endless road to represent them? To get away! There is one single car further away to give an idea of the scale of this photograph. This image by Robert Frank synthetises the Beat Generation, " of a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way (…)" as Kerouac wrote in an article published in Esquire in 1953. These divine beatniks, whose matrix was formed at the university of Columbia in 1943, who followed a pilgrimage between Paris, Tangers and Mexico, represent a type of freedom that reminds us of Rimbaud, with holes in his pockets and his nerveless rivers. The catalogue of the exhibition (open at the Centre Pompidou until 3 October 2016) includes collages, cut-ups, visual poems, performances, hallucinations under the influence of ganja or LSD. The Beat Generation goes beyond limits and leaves the future generations a type of total freeedom that is exalting and makes their heads turn and sometimes destroys them.
Review published in the newsletter #440 - from 15 September 2016 to 21 September 2016