Parisian couturier André Courrèges was chosen as the designer mainly responsible for the uniforms worn by the Olympic staff. His work fused Otl Aicher’s color palette with a casual safari look to create a style that deliberately eschewed any military overtones yet grouped the Olympic staff into easily recognizable categories. Some items of Olympic clothing were modeled on casual garage overalls. In the official setting of the Games, his provocative unisex suits were the first of their kind not to have separate versions for men and women, a bold move for those times. The hostess costumes, however, sought to strike a balance between tradition and modernity with their sky blue and white dirndls that, in the eyes of Otl Aicher, reflected the colors of the Upper Bavarian landscape. The exhibition, also features some of Courrèges’ haute couture clothing. His avant-garde pieces, with their clean, geometric lines, created an unorthodox and distinctly alternative look far removed from the conventions of the times.
The musical dimension of the exhibition explores the 1972 Summer Olympics’ hugely important cultural program. Their avowedly democratic, participatory approach was echoed in the opening and closing ceremonies and ran through the entire cultural program. The “Spielstraße” (Avenue of Entertainment), located next to the Olympic Lake and designed by architect Werner Ruhnau, was a radically democratic concept. It aimed to attract a huge public audience and had, as a prominent feature, Neue Musik. “Exotica for six singing instrumentalists, each with at least ten non-European instruments” was a piece specially commissioned by the Olympic Culture Commission from German-Argentine composer Mauricio Kagel. Most of the instruments used at the premiere at Haus der Kunst had been borrowed from the Münchner Stadtmuseum’s collection – a highly unusual move, when viewed from the perspective of current practice. This loan involved sixty percussion, wind and string instruments largely originating from Africa and Southeast Asia. Swedish-German puppeteer Michael Meschke (Marionetteatern Stockholm) created a Punch & Judy Show about the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games for the Avenue of Entertainment. In a piece that addressed openly antisemitism and colonialism, Meschke’s typically anarchic Punch lampooned kings and emperors alike.
The exhibition features selected items from the Museum’s Fashion Collection, 30 instruments, and photographic material from the Olympic music and culture program, some of which have not previously been on public display, in addition to various loans from the “Munich 72” Storytelling Café. Audio stations bring the music back to life – one highlight is the longest medley in musical history.