La Lutte #2 (The Fight), 2011 From Parasomnia C-Print, 100 x 100 cm Collection Fotomuseum Winterthur, acquired with financial support of the Federal Office of Culture © Viviane Sassen
Growing up is a time of self-searching. Who am I and who do I want to be? It is a time of trying to ground oneself in the world and build a relationship with one’s own persona. Each individual must personally undergo the experience of transition from a protected childhood into a social system of relationships and responsibility, finding one’s role in group dynamics, identifying, and testing possibilities and boundaries. Artistic photography has repeatedly examined this phase of life, from at least two different perspectives. One is the viewpoint of actual experience – a young adult who shares the lives of the protagonists with whom he or she is involved. Then there is the adult perspective on the phenomena of youth, which takes a different form of expression due to a certain distance and life experience. Images of youth also represent a confrontation with one’s own story, with personal successes and defeats, whether as present experiences or reflections on the past. Moments of transgression, of protest, and experiences with drugs and alcohol are reactions that can be as little ignored as the (sometimes) relentless quest for sexual encounters, or the ongoing search for established models of living, and for possible approaches to the future.
From För att/Because, 2000-2006 Gelatin-silver print, 40 x 50 cm Collection Fotomuseum Winterthur
© Helena Påls