Che Guevara: Revolutionary & Icon in London

I visited the V&A's Guevara, Revolutionary & Icon exhibition. This exhibition is based on the famous photographic image of him and its use, so less political and a bit of design. Lawrence Lewellyn Bownen does socialism. Sadly the V&A prohibited photographs, even of the plaques they made themselves. So here is a re-sized copy from wikipedia.

 

The Korda Shot of Guevara 220x148

 

More on Che at Wikipedia

I wasn't expecting a reference to SUNW at the exhibition, but then I wasn't expecting a mention of HP either and there were two. The first was a picture of a young cuban? boy, who had made a toy news camera out of scrap including an HP printer box, and decorated it with a picture of Che. The second reference was on a logo collage using US company logos made into a black and white representation of THE face illustrating the US companies involved in Cuba. I have no idea if Sun's absence from this picture is due to our longevity, trading practices or the artists ignorance of Sun's existence. All the other usual IT industry suspects were there.

I was shocked to to discover that a Hollywood film, starring Omar Sharif as Che and Jack Palance as Castro had been made in 1969 which was only seven years after the Cuban Missile Crises. IMDB have it cataloged here.... Their trivia article states that "The film was seen as so offensive in Chile and Argentina that Molotov cocktails were reportedly thrown at the screen in some cinemas." That good huh!

Many of the posters and pictures were lent to the V&A by the Center (sic) for the study of Political Graphics based in Los Angeles. Their museum must be worth a visit. It was a stunning collection varying from pictures, posters and paintings to films and other artifacts, including coffee mugs and watches.

 

Che Guevara Mug

 

The exhibition curator Trisha Ziff, has written a book called Che Guevara: Revolutionary and Icon [amazon uk...] which I didn't browse on the day, but I have put on my wish list. All in all an interesting couple of hours - although if you want to see this exhibition, you'd better be quick, it closes on Tuesday.

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