MICHELLE FISHER: So when we come into 1969, the space of the gallery is unlike any of the others. It's the largest gallery in the constellation of the fourth floor. And it gave us the opportunity to bring out some of the really beautiful floor works that you'll see here.
CARA MANES: Yes, happily, the architectural proportion of the space happened to fall at the end of the decade when, in fact, artists began to experiment with working on a much larger scale. Really making work that asks the viewer to be aware of their own presence in space, in relation to the objects, in relation to anything else in the room.
So the work of Eva Hesse, Repetition Nineteen, includes 19 bucket-like forms, which at a glance all look similar but are in fact each uniquely shaped. These works take on a bodily cast--they're almost surrogates for some sort of bodily form.
MICHELLE FISHER: Some of the works in the room that use the artist's body as a tool of provocation or dialogue, include the work that you'll see on the CRT monitor by Harun Farocki Inextinguishable Fire.
ANA JANEVSKI: Harun Farocki is one of the most important voices of the documentary filmmaking in Europe particularly from the 60's on. He's been very critical of the Vietnam War and the use of the chemical weapons during the war. And he addresses it with very provocative and very aggressive gestures.
STARR FIGURA: The David Hammons work on paper relates to these issues of both the body and the political moment. It was a time when there were race riots. There were demonstrations against the Vietnam War. And Hammons himself later said that, when he made this, he felt “a moral obligation as a black artist to try to graphically document what I feel socially.”
LUKE BAKER: In this gallery filled with large-scale floor works and deeply personal and politicized artworks, we also wanted to reference popular culture by including a series of photographs by astronauts and machines documenting the moon landing in 1969.
MICHELLE FISHER: After a decade of both positive change and great upheaval, we've ended the decade at a place on the moon, which is both incredibly exciting and a global event but also suggests some of the seismic change that would continue to happen in the years and decades ahead. So the '60s really was this moment in time when technology and science and the humanities leapt ahead in a very physical and literal way. But we were also knee deep in the political and civil rights realities that still affect us today.