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Kamloops Art Gallery

KIDS THESE DAYS

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Bande à part / Kids these days

Artists: Jo-Anne Balcaen, Sarah Febbraro, Kerri Flannigan, Emmanuelle Léonard, Kyla Mallett, Helen Reed, Guillaume Simoneau, Althea Thauberger

“Youth” or “adolescence” is commonly understood in North America as the prolonged period after childhood, where young people necessarily explore and experiment with their identities in preparation for adulthood, preferably within the formative, protective structures of family and school. It is interesting to note, however, that this view of youth is a relatively recent one – indeed, it is arguably one of the hallmarks of modernity in the Western world. Many still-pervasive ideas about youth grew out of psychology, anthropology and sociology, fields that came fully to the fore in the twentieth century, thanks to such prominent practitioners as G. Stanley Hall, Margaret Mead, Erik H. Erikson and Jean Piaget. Within the social sciences, young people became a category to be studied, understood and conceptualized.

Bande à part / Kids these days focuses on a selection of projects from the 2000s by Canadian artists. In their examinations of youth and youth cultures within a North American context, they employ strategies that call to mind methodologies used in the social sciences. These approaches can be seen as suggestive of the enduring impact of these disciplines on current perceptions of youth. The artists document young people – their bodies, expressions and movements – and investigate their tastes, thoughts, methods of communication and leisure activities.

The resulting artworks intimate an underlying desire on the part of the artists to capture the “essence” of youth or to affiliate themselves with the coveted values typically associated with this group: freedom, escape, authenticity, expressivity, creativity and idealism. Popular ideas around youth are further explored in the fiction and non-fiction books on display.

Bande à part/Kids these days was first presented in 2014 at the Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop's University, Sherbrooke, Québec. It was remounted by MSVU Art Gallery in 2016 that also produced a publication on the exhibition. It was most recently presented at Kamloops Art Gallery in 2017. 

The curatorial research for this exhibition was funded by the Canada Council for the Arts through its Project Grant to Curators and Critics. Photos: François Lafrance. Courtesy of the Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop's University.

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