So, whilst I am technically not a teenager anymore (by a whole vast five years) I still, somehow gratefully found myself amidst helping out organise the exhibition of the teenager coming soon to Taunton's Brewhouse theatre next Thursday. The project, the brain child of Kelly Smith, the Artistic apprentice at The Brewhouse, was devised to challenge teenage stereotypes by way of asking teenagers themselves to take part in activities such as artistically altering mannequins that express what is their viewpoint of being a teenager in 2011(see lovely photos below). The aim was also to eventually involve a whole array of ages of people in the community as we draw upon their experiences of 'teenagedom'. All of this then comes together in a combined, musical, visual and immerse exhibition experience, that is 'The Exhibition of the Teenager'. I am definitely intrigued to see what responses we have collectively and then in turn the public's responses to the exhibition as a whole. In particular to see if the result really does provide a different perception of teenagers. With the recent student protests that demonstrate teens and students being more politically active, I wonder if some of this will be reflected in works/responses we receive? What is the best way, in terms of art, of expressing that viewpoint? In terms of this project there are opportunities in the form of the live music performed by 'Live 'n up' bands on the opening night, there's our facebook page, vox pops, as well as graffiti workshops during the exhibition.
Enter my involvement in all of this, I'll be helping cart the bodies (the mannequins) around in the Brewhouse, producing an 'environment' in which they can inhabit for their time on display during the exhibition. Exciting stuff and I am interested already in some of the controversy surrounding a particular mannequin, so from a curatorial perspective it will be fun to see what reactions it will trigger. In my own opinion, I think there should be an element of rebelliousness in an exhibition about teenagers, and to some extent the fact that the project was set up to challenge stereotypes in the first place is a sign that it is an important part of questioning, where we, as teens/young adults fit in the world (or don't fit on depending how anarchic you wish to be). Anyway in terms of what this show will look like so far, what we have in mind is a stage-set version of a teenage bedroom based on all the info collected from the public, so we'll have a teen room throughout the ages, in theory...That is, hoping we can overcome a room with a piano, two sinks and a sloping glass roof! Ha ha! Doesn't every teen have a piano in their bedroom?!
So please look out for us next week from Thursday til Saturday, find more details below.
And if you want more information you can always tune in to us live on BBC Somerset from around 10.30 on Monday 14th February when we'll be explaining all in such very close detail.
(above and below) Some of the 'altered' mannequins produced by teenagers, currently on display at Debenhams. (Well, and me in the photo below, but I'm not staying there or nothing)
The Exhibition Of The Teenager
Thursday 17 February - Saturday 19 February
Teenager /ˈtiːneɪdʒə/ nouna person aged between 13 and 19 years.THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY
Yeah, but isn't there more to it than that?
We all have to be a 'teenager' at some point - and for most of us our teenage years define us. But what exactly is a 'teenager'? And is it really a case of one size fits all?The great mystery of the teenager has long evaded capture throughout the decades, hiding behind hoodies, street corners and strange hair. Gasp as we strip back the stereotypes to unmask the 'real' thing in front of your very eyes.
For a limited time only - music, media and mannequins all come together in this unique, tongue-in-cheek exhibition created by the community, for the community.
For more info and details of workshops please click on the link below: