March 12, 2008 - University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) - Serge Hambourg
March 12, 2008

Serge Hambourg

Arrested protestor at the demonstration of artists, writers, and students, Place du Palais Royal, July 16, 1968; digital print from 35mm black-and-white negative; 25 3/8 x 19 3/4 in.; Hood Museum of Art, gift of the artist, 2006.90.31; photo courtesy of the artist.

Protest in Paris 1968: Photographs by Serge Hambourg
March 12 – June 1, 2008

2626 Bancroft Way
Berkeley CA 94720

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) presents an exhibition documenting the student demonstrations that overtook Paris during the spring of 1968. A stunning representation of one of the most famous protest movements in modern history, this landmark series of photographs fits comfortably in Berkeley, another epicenter of the late ’60s student movement. Protest in Paris 1968: Photographs by Serge Hambourg opens March 12 and runs through June 1, 2008.

The year 1968 was pivotal to the political, social, and cultural histories of the United States, France, and many other countries across the globe. The events in Paris that year were part of a decade that saw many protests. Documentary photography published in newspapers and magazines and shown on television played an especially important role in stimulating the ferment. Searing images from the Vietnam War era, such as the Kent State student kneeling next to a fallen protestor, or the picture of a screaming Vietnamese girl fleeing napalm, powerfully affected attitudes toward that conflict and the student protests against it.

Less familiar but similarly revealing documents of a famously turbulent moment are Serge Hambourg’s photographs of the protests against the conservative government of General Charles de Gaulle in Paris in 1968. During this year, Hambourg worked as a photojournalist for the weekly magazine Le nouvel observateur. Some of his images of the demonstrations were printed in the magazine; most of them, however, are being seen for the first time in this exhibition, organized by the Hood Museum of Art at
Dartmouth College.

The protests had begun in March with students at Nanterre, a university in the suburbs outside Paris. By mid-May, the protests had grown into massive demonstrations that virtually shut down the economy for two weeks. Serge Hambourg first photographed the student leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit talking to a group at Nanterre University in early March, and followed the demonstrations and meetings as events heated up later in the spring and summer. In these photographs one can almost feel the groundswell of popular sentiment and the strong presence of the youthful student leaders in galvanizing the demonstrators. Hambourg also captured images of the backlash by de Gaulle supporters. The photographer’s keen eye and artistic sense are evident in these images, which represent events that still reverberate almost forty years later.

Serge Hambourg is an independent photographer who worked for Le nouvel observateur from 1966 through 1977. His photographs have been reproduced in books, magazines, and journals including Paris match, New York Magazine, Time, Vogue, Le monde, Art in America, and many others. They are in the collections of museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the New-York Historical Society; the New Orleans Museum of Art; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; and the Hood Museum of Art. From 1977 through 1992, Hambourg lived in New York City; he now lives and works in Paris.

Credit Line
This exhibition was organized by the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, and was generously funded by the Parnassus Foundation, courtesy of Jane and Raphael Bernstein. Education programs in conjunction with the Berkeley presentation are supported by Daniel Bernstein and Claire Foerster.

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley CA 94720

Gallery Hours:
Wednesday to Sunday, 11 to 5.
Closed Monday and Tuesday.

t. (510) 642-0808
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Press contact
Jonathan L. Knapp

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)
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