The materials will be mounted, framed, prepared for exhibition, and packed for transport by the lender, Mr. Watkins, at his own expense. Hunter S. Thompson came home from the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago disgusted yet motivated by what he’d seen: protests violently suppressed, riots, corrupt politicians and abusive cops. He points out that in Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed, 94 per cent of police officers live outside the city. Watkins, Bob Braudis and Joe DiSalvo - Only 50 Available. Summaries. In 1969 in Aspen, American journalist, Hunter S. Thompson collaborated with a colorful cast of activists, intellectuals and artists to launch a political movement which fought for the future of the town, the environment, and the nation. Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb. With his Freak Power badge, Thompson was hardly a traditional candidate for Sheriff. He creates a platform in which he envisions completely reforming the sheriff's office and focusing on … “I went to the Democratic Convention as a journalist, and returned a raving beast,” he later wrote. There is still availability for the exhibition in late 2021, and 2022. It can be viewed as encompassing a range of disparate groups including hippies, pacifists, politicized radicals, as well as psychedelic and progressive rock fans. Freak Power is a fascinating look into the heart of a grassroots political campaign during a violent era in American history, as one man channelled the rage and confusion of a maligned subculture into a surprisingly coherent and subversive political movement. HD. In 1969 in Aspen, American journalist, Hunter S. Thompson collaborated with a colorful cast of activists, intellectuals and artists to launch a political movement which fought for the future of the town, the environment, and the nation. Pauline Rolland pauline@pryzagency.com +33 6 20 69 33 62, Yuri Zupancicyuri@pryzagency.com+ 1 785 218 9038. Still, the experience proved a formative one for him. As to the actual freak power movement, it makes me w This coffee table book is written by a serious Hunter S. Thompson fan and an Aspen museum curator. Freak Power: Hunter S. Thompson’s Campaign for Sheriff Curated by Daniel Joseph Watkins April 30 – September 2, 2019. "The Battle of Aspen" is an article published in Rolling Stone No. It’s a dangerous situation when the enforcement arm is totally out of communication with the reality. The story of Thompson’s singular campaign for office is the subject of the fascinating new documentary Freak Power: The Ballot or The Bomb. English artist and illustrator Ralph Steadman became friends with Hunter S. Thompson in May 1970 and the two corresponded and collaborated regularly on such works as The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Hunter S. Thompson, author of "Hells Angels" and "Fear in Loathing in Las Vegas" ran for Pitkin County Sheriff in 1970. “We realised the only way to affect permanent change was through the ballot.”, Braudis is something of an authority on matters of the ballot. … “As it is now, you just don’t talk to a cop. The outrage, the hectoring, the constant rhetoric metaphorical “war:” it’s all a … The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started It All. 90. HD. Their friendship and collaboration spanned more than four decades and created or inspired some of Benton’s most recognized works, including the 1970 “Hunter S. Thompson for Sheriff” poster and a series of political posters that combined art and writing called “The Aspen Wallposters.” He went on to create campaign posters for more than fifty candidates including George McGovern, Gary Hart and Willie Brown. © 2021 NME is a member of the media division of BandLab Technologies. Stitched together from recently unearthed campaign footage and new interviews conducted by directors Daniel Joseph Watkins and Ajax Phillips, the film skilfully captures not just the specifics of what made Aspen in the late ‘60s ripe for political upheaval, but also how loudly the Freak Power campaign still resonates in this foul year of 2020. Freak Power: Hunter S. Thompson's Campaign for Sheriff - First Edition - Signed by D.J. The office of Sheriff also presented him with a perfect opportunity to present a concrete plan to reform policing, and it was an opportunity he took seriously. By the end of October, the newspaper endorsed Thompson as Pitkin County’s next sheriff. Steadman has continued to make Freak Power work and recently created a number of new drawings that incorporate original Freak Power materials. During the late 1960s, Hunter S. Thompson met artist Thomas W. Benton in Aspen. 50 years on, a new documentary explores what we can learn from his radical movement, It was a billy club to the gut that convinced Hunter S. Thompson it was time to get personally involved in politics. The local sheriff’s office took great delight in busting all these hairy weirdos for smoking pot, so much so that a couple of the hippies ended up suing the cops for discrimination. Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb ( 94 ) IMDb 9.4 1 h 34 min 2020 R In 1970, disgusted by the way police are abusing their power, outlaw journalist Hunter S. Thompson starts his own political movement, Freak Power, to fight against corruption and cronyism in his town and across America. Director Watkins says that one of the things he hopes the film will do is inspire ordinary people not just to vote, but to run for office themselves. Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb. Hare Krishna! Credit: Press, The story of Freak Power, then, is a rebuke to anyone disillusioned by the idea that participating in our shaky democratic institutions really can make a difference. IMDb: 9.9. The world's defining voice in music and pop culture since 1952. The BBC, The New York Times , Time , and others descended upon the little mountain town and attempted to translate what was happening for a national audience, who were naturally fascinated by the idea of a hippie (as they judged him to be) running for office. Braudis sees some similarities now with the social divisions that first birthed Freak Power. After a massive voter registration drive Edwards lost by just six votes, a narrow enough margin to convince Thompson he should still follow through on his word. “Not defunding the police, but reinventing police. Nov 9, 2020 #156,277 The board needs a … Thompson wrote about his campaign in the article "The Battle of Aspen", published in Rolling Stone magazine no. 24 likes. A political activist in Aspen, Colorado. The lawyer who brought that case, Joe Edwards, was convinced by Thompson to run for Mayor of Aspen in 1969. This exhibition uses over 120 vintage screen-printed posters, photos, films, and texts to tell the story of the Battle of Aspen, which saw artists, beatniks and other concerned citizens fighting against gentrification, oppression, war, and environmental destruction. The energy of this movement can still be felt in the Freak Power collection, assembled by curator and writer Daniel J. Watkins. We are good people. The Freak Flag was firmly planted in the eyes of a new generation and the Freak Power ideals continue to fly, especially in the landscape of the present day – an idealogical fight that values freedom of the individual against a ruling class via systematic autocracy. A post shared by Freak Power (@freak_power) on Oct 6, 2020 at 2:26pm PDT Depending on who you ask, the idea of Freak Power stuck. Not only was he elected Sheriff himself in 1986, he was then re-elected five more times before he retired in 2010. “Dick Kienast hired me as a baby deputy. Each section can be variably reformatted depending on the size of the space and the focus of the exhibition venue. As part of the deal, Thompson promised to run for sheriff the following year – but only if Edwards won. With his friends, Thompson helped established the Freak Power movement. Here are a few examples: Political Poster Workshop: Led by a silkscreen printmaker, Vintage Typewriter: Provided for museum guests to write their political ideas, messages, and reflections, Media Room: Where Hunter S. Thompson’s books, letters, and magazine articles are available for people to read, Voter Registration Event: To provide materials and information for people to register and become more engaged in local politics, Speaker Series: Throughout the duration of the exhibition, featuring experts and activists talking about politically engaged art and local, national and international political topics. All of that basically happened in the ’70s and ’80s here in Aspen, but we do live in a bubble.”, ‘Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb’ is available to stream online now. Director Watkins says … His cabinet is a cabinet of puppets. Credit: Press, Another central pillar of the Freak Power campaign that took root in Aspen was the idea of actively preventing development to preserve the environment. Not democrat. He’d turned up to the debate that night with a freshly shaven scalp, specifically so that he could refer to the crew-cut incumbent Sheriff Carrol D. Whitmire as his “long-haired opponent”. The article's subject is the 1969 mayoral election in Aspen, Colorado, in particular the candidacy of Joe Edwards, a lawyer, "biker" and … “Making a pedestrian mall sounds so boring, but if you say: ‘We’re ripping up all the pavement and we’re sodding the streets at once’, suddenly it sounds like something exciting that I want to get engaged with.”, Among those drawn in to a political campaign for the first time was Bob Braudis, a young volunteer given the critical job of going around town making sure everyone with long hair had registered to vote. to exhibit audio or video materials. Original Artwork for Sale Can be Found at the Gonzo Gallery. The answer Thompson came up with was a radical, local political campaign he termed ‘Freak Power’, and a run to be elected Sheriff of Aspen and the surrounding Pitkin County in 1970 under the banner of a six-fingered fist clutching a peyote button. The ideas were at once radical and eminently sensible, coming from a man who could see how the drug war was driving a wedge between communities and police. Steadman vocally supported the Freak Power movement from abroad and mailed original drawings to Aspen to be used as campaign materials. There are several events and activities included in the proposal that are designed to encourage people to engage with the exhibition and take action in their own communities. The curatorial plan, texts, and wall tag information will also be provided by the lender and Pryz Agency at no additional cost to the recipient. ... We follow Hunter as he builds his own political movement, which grows from a local sheriff’s race to a national media sensation. Back in Aspen, he finds more of the same. That campaign was cast as the culmination of the ‘Freak Power’ movement that was part libertarian and part eco-crusade against those engaged in “land rape.” While writing about his campaign, Thompson introduced the term “fear and loathing” into his reportage, which carried over into his future writings. Though he was already becoming a well known writer and public figure in the late 60s, Thompson kept a relatively low profile at home in Woody Creek, just outside of Aspen. The final list of loan materials will be determined by discussion and negotiation with the exhibiting venue and curatorial team. We’re going to have a revolution.”, Hunter S. Thompson lights a cigarette in archival footage. Hunter S. Thompson came home from the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago disgusted yet motivated by what he’d seen: protests violently suppressed, riots, corrupt politicians, and … It was a rallying call for the triumph of democracy over violence; an inspiration for intelligence, creativity, and civil debate over cheap tactics … “If Hunter could run for Sheriff,” he points out, “anybody can run for anything!”, Sadly, of course, the current occupant of the White House proves just how horribly true that sentiment really is. Thompson himself would be his de facto campaign manager delivering regular shots of gonzo wisdom. Politically minded, Thompson ran unsuccessfully for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado, in 1970 on the Freak Power ticket. Get the details at Westword.com. Showing at the Poster House in New York City from March 4-August 15, 2021, Showing at the Aspen Art Museum from December 16, 2020 - February 21, 2021, Shown at the Frazier History Museum in Louisville, KY from April 30 - September 2, 2019, Shown at the Aspen Historical Society from June 18 - October 1, 2018, THE ART OF HUNTER S. THOMPSON’S POLITICAL MOVEMENT. Hunter S. Thompson was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1937. Braudis remembers Thompson putting it succinctly: “Real estate developers spread like piss puddles on a parking lot.”, Although the ‘Fat City’ rebrand sadly never came to be, many of Thompson’s allies – including the lawyer Joe Edwards – were elected to positions which allowed them to prevent what Braudis refers to as “wholesale greedhead development.”, Thompson is best known as a writer and author, and as the founder of the gonzo journalism movement. Freak Power tells the story of Hunter’s plan to become Sheriff, take control of Aspen and transform it from a conservative mining town into a mecca for artists, rebels and activists. Hunter S. Thompson went to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago as a journalist and returned home disgusted, yet motivated by what he'd just seen: violently suppressed protests, riots, corrupt politicians, and abusive cops. We argue, we protest, we petition - but nothing changes...So now, with the rest of the nation erupting in a firestorm of bombings and public killings, a handful of ‘freaks’ are running a final, perhaps atavistic experiment with the idea of forcing change by voting ... and if that has to be called Freak Power, well ... whatever’s right.” - Hunter S. Thompson, The Aspen Times, October 22, 1970. 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