Teen Age: You Just Don’t Understand
San Francisco, CA: Catharine Clark Gallery is pleased to present the group exhibition Teen Age: You Just Don’t Understand, co-curated by Ken Goldberg and Catharine Clark. The exhibition dates are August 28 – September 25, 2010. Goldberg and many of the artists and teens will be present for the opening reception on Saturday, September 4, 3–6pm. Presented in the viewing room is a second installation of works by Stephanie Syjuco. Both exhibitions coincide with the 2010 01SJ Biennial “Build Your Own World.” The art and technology biennial presented by ZER01 is September 14–19.
Join us on Saturday, Sept 4, 3–6pm, for a BBQ reception for Teen Age: You Just Don’t Understand
"High school's full of phonies; all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart enough to be able to buy a goddam Cadillac some day, and you have to keep making believe you give a damn if the football team loses...." – J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye.
The start of the school year for some evokes the memory of J.D. Salinger and his writing, particularly his depiction of Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye. This year is no exception given Salinger’s death in January (1919-2010). Teen Age: You Just Don’t Understand celebrates the memory of Salinger through a presentation of more than ten collaborative projects selected from 60 international submissions. Each of the projects is a collaboration involving at least one teen and one adult. The struggle of Salinger’s protagonist, Caulfield, in Catcher in the Rye— still much identified with by the teen reader—is also the spirit that Ken Goldberg, artist and professor at UC Berkeley, and gallerist Catharine Clark, sought in selecting works for Teen Age—collaborations that like Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye embody the feeling of adolescent alienation and disaffectedness.
Additionally, the challenge presented to applicants for Teen Age was to address the topic by reflecting on the role of new media and high technology in the lives of teens from the perspective of teens. As teens develop, they enter a world of new privileges and responsibilities while also managing raging hormones, clueless parents, hypocritical authority figures, and the perception that the status quo is absurd. Teen Age, organized as a nod to teenagers who will shape the future of new media, is also a reference to the ‘adolescence’ of new media artwork in terms of its relative nascent development within the ider context of the art world. The title of the exhibit is further an acknowledgement of the dawning of the teen era of the 21st century—one where books, like Salinger’s, will probably be read on Kindles.
Teen Age coincides with the 01SJ Biennial—Build Your Own World. Build Your Own World features an international group of artists and architects whose works operate at the intersection of technology and culture. The projects in Teen Age while reflecting on technology engage a range of media from photography to wooden doors, from cell phones to sofa cushions, from video to drawings—each work responding to the impact of technology sometimes with technology, but often with media that merely reflects on the role of technologies such as texting, tweeting, viral videos, applets, computer games and social media, in the lives of teens.
Israel-based Ben Vertzhaizer (15) and his sister Sivan Eldar will present a video installation of teenage musicians doing their best to play in response to YouTube videos of classical conductors. The Santa Barbara team of Leela Cyd Ross (16) and her father, Richard Ross, capture daily self-portraits of Leela documenting struggles with "boyfriends, body, self-image, identity, fashion, and general teen craziness." A collaboration between Bay Area Amanda Eicher and 100 teens from Richmond, California and from El Salvador produced paintings on wooden doors inspired by text-club conversations between the participants. Maize Bucholz (11) collaborated with her grandmother Suzie Bucholz on a Facebook project where new pills can be prescribed for overzealous parents. Virginia-based Sam Wheeler (16) and Whitney Lynn construct sculptural installations using couch cushions—a cave-like retreat shielding teens from the intrusions of the adult world.