In 1964, the revered and revolutionary, filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard described the impact that he and his colleagues in the Nouvelle Vague were having on French art and society as a whole. “We barged into the cinema like caveman into the Versailles of Louis XV” he exclaimed. Similar to cavemen, Godard and his colleagues focused solely on innovation and change, and completely threw away the obsession with refinement and craft that he felt plagued French cinema. To him refinement reflected the detachment from reality and humanity synonymous with ultra-refined French royalty. He was one man but he spoke for the views of many who felt their voices were unheard, this led to an eruption of protests exactly fifty years ago in May of 1968 which Gucci has chosen to take inspiration from for it’s pre-fall ‘Dans Les Rues’ 2018 campaign.
To supplement the campaign and short film Gucci has chosen to use images inspired by the protests lensed by Glen Luchford in the iconic Nouvelle Vague aesthetic for their art walls project of urban murals. The Milan mural depicts the riotous nature of the protests with a staggering work showing some protests climbing on the side of a building dressed in classic 60’s style with some more modern touches. The New York mural coincides with Gucci’s opening of it’s new SoHo store and emphasizes the communal aspect of the protests showcasing a gathering of rebels in a cramped building seemingly engaging in an empowered discussion on their grievances with their government and greater society. The image not only brings to mind the May ’68 protests but also Robespierre and the Jacobins of the French Revolution.
The protests in May of ’68 did not cause great political impact but their social, cultural and moral impact on the greater society of France as a whole was groundbreaking and is still felt today. This campaign from Gucci continues the spirit and ideals of creating change on a social, moral and creative level rather than through bureaucratic policy and their statement, just like Godard’s is clear; to refine something broken is pointless and instead you must completely rebuild and above all else, innovate.
Photos | Courtesy Chris Moran at Colossal Media
Photos | Courtesy Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marco Cappelletti