This is Tomorrow, 1956

In 1956, the architect and critic Theo Crosby organised an exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery called This is Tomorrow, consisting of a series of collaborations between artists and architects. Hamilton was grouped with the architect John Voelcker and the artist John McHale, and their contribution was a structure that came to be known as the ‘Fun House’. The structure combined blown-up images from Hollywood stills, sci-fi, advertising, and reproductions of famous art works, with sensory stimuli and optical illusions. A jukebox played hits, a foam carpet exuded a strawberry fragrance, and a microphone allowed visitors to share their words.

For the catalogue, Hamilton created a collage that has been seen as the first Pop art work, Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? Hamilton populated a modern interior, replete with new consumables such as a television and vacuum cleaner, with a contemporary Adam and Eve. He called the collage ‘tabular as well as pictorial’, and drew up a list of its components:

Man
Woman
Humanity
History
Food
Newspapers
Cinema
TV
Telephone
Comics (picture information)
Words (textual information)
Tape recording (aural information)
Cars
Domestic appliances
Space