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We Demand Happiness!

We Demand Happiness! Protest posters 1975-1985
MOTI Museum of the Image, Breda, NL
August 28, 2012 – February 1, 2013

Curator: Geert Lovink
Statement: «During the governement formation, MOTI will be presenting a new exhibition called We Demand Happiness! In our present era of crisis and revolution, the museum will be looking back on protest manifestations from the past. On display are Opland’s iconic protest images against cruise missiles. But also on display are posters about the mass protests against the bomb, squatter riots and protest art about the Cold War and international solidarity.
The protest posters on display at MOTI are from the private collection of Breda’s Alex de Kock. He donated his poster collection to the museum in June 2012. In an interview with producer Geert Lovink, de Kock says: “I was thirtysomething and interested in art and felt a need to collect it. I didn’t have enough money to buy so-called real art, but I saw many works of art in the streets and in bookstores in the form of these protest posters. They were being given away for free or could be bought for a guilder and I firmly believed in their extraordinary design. But immediately, I also found them to be exceptional because they displayed the era.”
For 30 years, Alex de Kock conserved the posters in his house in Oosterhout. A passionate collector who believes the protest posters are special because they remind him of the aesthetics that Soviet communism applied to puff up its ideology. As a child, he regularly visited the Soviet-Union because his mother was born in the Ukraine. After recently moving to Breda, the collector decided to donate his collection to MOTI.
Visitors will be able to see famous posters with themes such as the battle for housing and squatting, the anti-nuclear energy movement, the Peace movement, but also international solidarity and protest art. Internet critic Geert Lovink selected the posters and wrote provocative texts about the onset of the belligerent eighties.»