Larry Clark, Derek Root, Justine Kurland, Danny Lyon, Douglas Coupland and Anthony Goicolea at the Monte Clark Gallery (55 Mill, Building 2), to May 1. 416-703-1770. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
My So-called Life, at the Monte Clark Gallery , explores the uncertainties of adolescence with assurance.
Six established artists reflect on the teen journey in photos, paintings and a video that will likely resonate with viewers of all ages Douglas Coupland 's Dead Grad series hit a particular chord with me. Initially, his photographs appear to be nothing but framed black prints.
But within the darkness three typical graduate portraits of young, smiling faces look optimistically toward the future.
We instantly recognize them as yearbook photos.
Paradoxically, the pictures are named for the cause of their subjects' deaths: Drowning, Overdose, Car Accident.
In obits we recognize these kinds of pictures as faces of the past. In this series they become both past and future, a haunting meditation on the unsuspecting optimism of youth.
Anthony Goicolea 's video encapsulates the angst of adolescence so effectively that it's hard to watch.
A relentless close crop of a boy biting his nails (actually the artist playing a 15-year-old) continually loops on the screen. He sits on his bed looking around nervously, unremittingly chomping - we can hear every bite - as saliva and piles of nail bits collect on his chest, face and hands.
As you'd expect, works in the exhibit also look at identity, self-confidence and sexuality.
Though these timeless themes may be predictable, the execution of the pieces here is not.
Even if you feel you'd rather die than return to that tumultuous time, consider taking a moment to revisit it at this show.