Visit: Turner Contemporary

Visit Date: 29th September 2011

Location: Turner Contemporary, Rendezvous, Margate, CT19 1HG

Exhibition: Nothing in the World But Youth

In preparation of visiting the Turner Contemporary Gallery we were provided a brief that we were to bring an item that reminded us of our youth or youth culture and to also find 3 words that you could associate with the experience of our youth. Below is an image of my item and my three words; Freedom, impulsive and purposeless. I took a CD which was an item made by a close friend from school showing important moments and memories of our school years together.

The exhibition was quite enthralling, including many pieces of works that demonstrated various emotions that can be experienced by youth and these pieces of work spanned a from 1800’s to current day, showing the emotion has never changed just the way that it has been portrayed and means to different people.

There were many pieces of art that I felt recognition with for example a piece by Anna Shteynshleyger from City of Destiny (pictured). This piece of art reminded me of how detached I felt at times during my youth, I get the idea of detachment and isolation due to the grey and cold background, that the person is not in the centre of the image but placed off centre to the left and also the body position is slightly hunch over and looks as if they have their arms crossed making the viewer feel generally awkward. The picture makes me feel that the person photographed may have low self-esteem, where they look as if they just want to hide from the world, due to the hair covering the face and facial expression; this resonates with me as I often felt low esteem during my youth and often wanted to hide from reality. I believe the picture also could suggest a confusion of sexuality as the back of the hair is a boy haircut and the front is longer and more womanly, there is nothing in the picture that would suggest the actual sexuality of the person. After further research I have learnt this photograph was part of series called City of Destiny where the photograph was taken in various locations in United States and Russia and explores her relationship with the Jewish community. The collection of photographs all demonstrate how she felt like an outsider whilst being a Jew in Russia and Russian migrant in the United States.

Another piece of work displayed during the exhibition that I felt was really interesting and made me think of the way youth culture is portrayed in the present day and how it could be misinterpreted was a gold statue by Marc Quinn named A Moment of Clarity (pictured below). This statue looked so real, the creases in the man’s addidas tracksuit made it look touchable, and the way the hood fell around the man’s face must have taken a lot of skill to make it look so realistic. The hood being up made me think of how a lot of the current youth are known for hoodie anti-social behaviour, combine this with the man holding a skull, make the whole statue seem quite terrifying. However, what is fascinating about this statue is that the statue’s face is not scary and quite calm, and the stance of the statue is quite relaxed so you don’t feel terrified. The man in the statue is so calm and holding the skull upside down, makes you feel like the man is thinking deeply about something and the skull means something. I interpreted this as in the man is looking into himself or is looking back into his hellish past.

During our visit we were placed in a group of which to discuss and create a narrative of youth. We came up with the below, which is a timeline mainly expressed in images. This was created via photoshop using various layers.