Kids these days and superyoung exhibitions on until July 1

Image Credit: SUBMITTED

In contemporary North America, youth is commonly understood as the period after childhood when young people learn life skills and explore their identities in preparation for impending adulthood, within the formative, protective structures of family and school. Beyond its designation of the stage of life between childhood and adulthood, youth also encompasses a complex multifaceted “imaginary”—one that is rich in analogous associations and imagery. In its most negative light, youth is denigrated as the incarnation of debauchery and excess, but in its most positive light, youth is idealized as the embodiment of pre-socialized authenticity, unbridled potential, creativity and freedom. The celebratory virtues typically associated with youth strikingly correspond with those sought after by many artists within their own art practices.

Kids these days focuses on a selection of recent photographs, videos, drawings and prints by Canadian artists. In their examinations of youth and youth cultures within a North American context, these artists employ strategies that echo methodologies used in the social sciences. They document and study the physicality, expressivity and behaviour of young people, concentrating on their tastes, thoughts, communication methods and leisure activities. The works suggest an underlying desire on the part of the artists to capture and comprehend the essence of youth or to affiliate themselves with its attributed characteristics.

A fascination with youth’s attributed imaginary is also vividly articulated in the artworks on display in superyoung, a companion exhibition to Kids these days. Displaying an aesthetics of youth, the featured artworks capture and embody an overarching youth-inspired perspective, mindset or way of communicating. Unlike many of the artists in Kids these days who predominantly assume the role of observer, the artists in superyoung unreservedly adopt and appropriate attitudes, styles, vernaculars and modes of expression commonly ascribed to youth and youth culture. This youth-inspired performativity also manifests itself less explicitly through the creation of artworks made within a coded sensibility of youth—as if made by youth themselves.

Comprised of sculpture, painting, drawing, textiles, video and installation, Kids these days and superyoung present a wide range of work marked by aesthetics, styles and strategies that broadly evoke youth or youth culture. These works often display an unpolished, unschooled aesthetic or conversely, a naïve, romantic expressivity.

Guest curated by Zoe Chan.

Kids these days

April 8 to July 1, 2017

Jo-Anne Balcaen - Sarah Febbraro - Kerri Flannigan - Emmanuelle Léonard - Kyla Mallett - Helen Reed - Guillaume Simoneau

superyoung

April 8 to July 1, 2017

Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke - Mark Clintberg - Sarah Gotowka - Emily Gove - Terrance Houle - Roselina Hung - Sarah Anne Johnson - Jenny Lin - Hazel Meyer - Marc-Antoine K. Phaneuf - Walter Scott


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