“Youth Movement” exhibition in Tel Aviv (Israel) reviewed

Youth Movement: http://www.youthmovement.co.il/

Movement is the change in the position of an object with respect to time. Youth is the intermediate stage between childhood and adulthood; hence youth are subjects moving from one point to another on the timeline of life. The phrase ‘youth movement’ is a movement of movement. A doubling meant to emphasize. However, in the everyday language the phrase ‘youth movement’ is already taken. It is a phrase that indicates a framework, constituted by adults in order to create a place for the indoctrination of youth while being at their most formative stage of their life (spiritually, culturally and socially), and in order to aim the youth’s natural movement to an agreed and set a head direction. As the youth gets older and becomes integrated in society it constitutes the framework for the next generation of youth and so forth. There is no charm in this oppressing cycle.

The youth are meant to rebel. The youth are meant to reject the common attitudes and beliefs of society and to initiate protest movements which declare: “No more. We want the world to change.”

The exhibition ‘Youth Movement’ curated by Adam Cohen Sturm points at this perplexed movement of the youth. A movement that it is not clear, or maybe it is not supposed to be clear, where it is headed. The youth in the images appear to be frozen in the middle of their movement. Adolescents are floating in the air, being thrown onto tree branches. Maybe a tornado had flung them; maybe they can fly but didn’t learn yet how to control their ability to do so. Other adolescents are sitting on the edges of springboards, wondering whether to jump or not. What will they friends say?

Most of the works in the exhibition are influenced by the aesthetics of magazines. They flirt with fashion catalogs who show sexual youth that are not necessarily capable of dealing fully with their erupting sexuality. Their clothes seem to be intended for removal instead of concealment. It might be that every work in the exhibition falls into a simple matrix with four elements. The youth appearing in the pictures is in movement or in place, dressed or undressed. One can easily imagine the transition from one element to another, but not regarding the youth appearing in the pictures. In the drama of adolescence every love, breakup and quarrel is a primal and major experience, which will never occur again. Only visual arts can immortalize these dramatic moments. The exhibition ‘Youth Movement’ reminds us (mostly older and worn) these moments, that will never return in life in such intensity. Unique moments that although blurred and indistinct when occurring in the course of life, still deserve being perpetuated just before arriving into the abolishing and criticizing adulthood.

Among the participating artist are: Alex roulette, Antoine D’Agata, Denis Darzacq, Karine Laval, Jacob Aue Sobol and more.

Avi Schneebaum

May 2011

About karinelaval

Karine Laval has been is a French artist living and working in New York. She works primarily with photography and video and shares her time between New York and Europe, alternating magazine and client assignments with an artistic practice, wherein she combines portraiture with images of geographical locations and visual narratives. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, New York, The New Yorker, Elle, Eyemazing, among others. Her work is exhibited worldwide in galleries and festivals. Laval was selected by Photo District News’ (PDN) 30 Emerging Photographers in 2005. Bonni Benrubi gallery in New York City currently represents her.
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