Article Number: 546
Soft Cover, German / English, Thread Stitching, 68 Pages, 2005, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary
Dan Graham, Tony Oursler, Rodney Graham

Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty

€ 20.00

Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty charts the career of twenty-four-year-old rock singer Neil Sky, who is elected President of the United States after instigating teenage riots to change the voting age to fourteen and putting LSD in the drinking water of the Congress. But once President Sky retires the over-thirty population in LSD re-conditioning camps, he faces his own unique demise. 

Conceived of by the conceptual artist Dan Graham, who began his career as a rock critic in the 1960s, Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty features video by Tony Oursler, songs written by Rodney and music performed live by the band Japanther. Philip Huber, the master puppeteer of Being John Malkovich has designed and constructed the puppets adapted from puppet drawings by Marie-Paule Mcdonald. Envisioned as a genuine satiric history of the hippy generation and the end of the psychedelic era, the opera's tragi-comic narrative is the reductio ad absurdum of the hippies "generational politics" contained in the 1960s youth slogan: "Don't trust anyone over thirty." Seen from hindsight thirty-five years later through the eyes of the 1960's youngsters now grown old, the effect is one of bitter reflection over time, whereby we witness a hip generation's indictment of their own shallow seduction by the cult of youth and the fascistic tendencies that can overwhelm even the most idealistic movement left unchecked.

Even more pertinent today, Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty mirrors the disillusionment of a generation who must today grapple with their failure to stop the growth of an extreme political and economic conservatism that today wages onslaught against the liberal ideals for which they so ardently fought from the 1960s on.

This publication was published 2005 on the occasion of the European Premiere of the puppet-rock-opera Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty as part of the Wiener Festwochen and the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin.