Life was different in 1966, and so was the way we expressed discontent. Even before this anti-war sculpture was erected on Sunset Boulevard near La Cienega back then, protestors started knocking down signs announcing its arrival. Foes of the foes of the Vietnam War kept busy in their campaign against the artists’ Tower of Protest by arriving in carloads in defiance of the 58-foot structure, and the artists’ themselves kept up their expression, adding to the tower and gathering around. By the time the tower came down three months after being built, 200 panels from the greats of the day, like Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Claes Oldenburg, adorned the contraption, echoing messages of peace.
The Tower of Protest’s return hasn’t been quite so controversial, or colorful–although the organizers of Pacific Standard Time did solicit contributions from artists to add to the sculpture. It’s in a slightly different location–at the corner of Hilldale–and with different messages: against the war in Afghanistan, in support of the Occupy Wall Street theme.
Here’s our trusty art critic, Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, on the subject: