“Night of the living hippy” by Ian Haig

  • ©, Ian Haig, Night of the living hippy
  • ©, Ian Haig, Night of the living hippy
  • ©, Ian Haig, Night of the living hippy


    Night of the living hippy

Artist(s) and People Involved:



Artist Statement:

    How can you tell if a hippy is alive or dead? Referencing Paul Thek’s 1967 installation The Tomb (also known as Death of a Hippy), which contained a body cast of the artist as a dead hippy, Haig plays on notions of transcendental states and past lives in his attempt to simultaneously reanimate the concepts of artist, artwork and hippy. By casting contemporary technology as the catalyst in this exploration of a Gothic theme, the re-animation of a corpse, he highlights technology’s increasingly pervasive nature, extending its reach into, or beyond, the grave. From another perspective the work refers to the art world’s enduring relationship with death, in which the ‘value’ of the artist often increases only after their death; the art museum as a kind of mausoleum embalming ‘dead’ artworks; meanwhile the resurrected zombie hippy represents contemporary art, media and technology, where nothing is truly dead or off-limits, and everything can be brought back to life, reborn, remixed, recombined, reconfigured … . In many respects contemporary media is the media of the undead, the half life, the zombie; like the hippy half a century ago, it is the new ‘natural’ state of existence.


Additional Images: