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Revolution innebär ett revolutionärt medvetande: En idéhistorisk studie av Sture Johannesson. Affischerna, undergroundkulturen, alternativrörelsen och drogliberalismen i Sverige under 1960-talet

Svensson, Madelene LU (2015) ILHK02 20152
Division of History of Ideas and Sciences
Abstract
In 1968 the alternative artist Sture Johannesson was assigned the task of creating a poster for Underground, an exhibition that took place at Lunds Konsthall. The poster named Revolution means revolutionary consciousness! recieved tremendous attention due to its all too clear subversive messages. It seemed as if Johannesson was promoting a psychedelic, sexual and marxist revolution. The official discourse tried to ensure that the poster did not reach the public by burning the poster after it were declared "hash propaganda", closing down the museum for over a year and dismissing the head of the museum. The overwhelmingly negative reception of Johannessons piece of art by the official discourse triggered a need to understand his motifs and... (More)
In 1968 the alternative artist Sture Johannesson was assigned the task of creating a poster for Underground, an exhibition that took place at Lunds Konsthall. The poster named Revolution means revolutionary consciousness! recieved tremendous attention due to its all too clear subversive messages. It seemed as if Johannesson was promoting a psychedelic, sexual and marxist revolution. The official discourse tried to ensure that the poster did not reach the public by burning the poster after it were declared "hash propaganda", closing down the museum for over a year and dismissing the head of the museum. The overwhelmingly negative reception of Johannessons piece of art by the official discourse triggered a need to understand his motifs and the late 1960s in Sweden from the perspective of a drug liberal member of an opposition towards society as such. The study concerns Johannesson and his work from a political, cultural and psychedelic context and focuses mainly on the context of ideas rather than practices. To identify the antidiscoursive ideas that his art portrayed this study includes more of his work such as Andrée Andrée will take a trip!, a flyer for one of the smoke-ins he hosted at Galleri Cannabis 1969 and his Psychedelic Manifesto from 1967. The text further investigates Johannesson in relation to the official discourses definition of a drug user which was mainly articulated by Nils Bejerot.

A method of contextualization was used along with explanations of Johannessons artistry which derrives from Michel Foucaults concepts of mechanisms of exclusion, subject position theory and also Guy Debords marxist approach to creating subversive art. The conclusion drawn from the empirical material, his art and the theories which are used as models for interpretation, is that Johanessons art was a mixture of encouragement toward sexual liberation, individualism, marxist tendencies, neodadaism & lettrism influences, situationist détournement and psychedelic theories. He created the posters with the purpose of inspiring a spiritual and self liberating revolution. Because of the messages Johannessons art contained he was soon to be seen as a threat against established norms and due to the mechanisms of exclusion, in this particular case mainly determined by Nils Bejerot, he became a persona non grata in the public discourse. The subject position as an outsider still seems to have triggered his creativity and caused him to make more art. He directed attention to what he defined as the wrongdoings of people in subject positions that had power over truth but also towards discretionary moral codes overall. The study reveals that despite the fact that Sture Johannesson in some ways personifies Nils Bejerots stereotype of a drug addict he had, due to his subjectposition and methods for creating and distributing art, a possibility to express his subversive views in a public domain. (Less)
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@misc{8932809,
  abstract     = {In 1968 the alternative artist Sture Johannesson was assigned the task of creating a poster for Underground, an exhibition that took place at Lunds Konsthall. The poster named Revolution means revolutionary consciousness! recieved tremendous attention due to its all too clear subversive messages. It seemed as if Johannesson was promoting a psychedelic, sexual and marxist revolution. The official discourse tried to ensure that the poster did not reach the public by burning the poster after it were declared "hash propaganda", closing down the museum for over a year and dismissing the head of the museum. The overwhelmingly negative reception of Johannessons piece of art by the official discourse triggered a need to understand his motifs and the late 1960s in Sweden from the perspective of a drug liberal member of an opposition towards society as such. The study concerns Johannesson and his work from a political, cultural and psychedelic context and focuses mainly on the context of ideas rather than practices. To identify the antidiscoursive ideas that his art portrayed this study includes more of his work such as Andrée Andrée will take a trip!, a flyer for one of the smoke-ins he hosted at Galleri Cannabis 1969 and his Psychedelic Manifesto from 1967. The text further investigates Johannesson in relation to the official discourses definition of a drug user which was mainly articulated by Nils Bejerot.

A method of contextualization was used along with explanations of Johannessons artistry which derrives from Michel Foucaults concepts of mechanisms of exclusion, subject position theory and also Guy Debords marxist approach to creating subversive art. The conclusion drawn from the empirical material, his art and the theories which are used as models for interpretation, is that Johanessons art was a mixture of encouragement toward sexual liberation, individualism, marxist tendencies, neodadaism & lettrism influences, situationist détournement and psychedelic theories. He created the posters with the purpose of inspiring a spiritual and self liberating revolution. Because of the messages Johannessons art contained he was soon to be seen as a threat against established norms and due to the mechanisms of exclusion, in this particular case mainly determined by Nils Bejerot, he became a persona non grata in the public discourse. The subject position as an outsider still seems to have triggered his creativity and caused him to make more art. He directed attention to what he defined as the wrongdoings of people in subject positions that had power over truth but also towards discretionary moral codes overall. The study reveals that despite the fact that Sture Johannesson in some ways personifies Nils Bejerots stereotype of a drug addict he had, due to his subjectposition and methods for creating and distributing art, a possibility to express his subversive views in a public domain.},
  author       = {Svensson, Madelene},
  keyword      = {Sture Johannesson - 1960s - Revolution means revolutionary consciousness - Hash Girl - Underground - Counterculture - Poster - Psychedelic art - Nils Bejerot - Michel Foucault - Mechanisms of exclusion - Subject position - Guy Debord - Subversive art - International Situationists - History of ideas},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Revolution innebär ett revolutionärt medvetande: En idéhistorisk studie av Sture Johannesson. Affischerna, undergroundkulturen, alternativrörelsen och drogliberalismen i Sverige under 1960-talet},
  year         = {2015},
}