From the series ‘The Thousand Year Old Boy’ © Yvette Monahan
Photo50 is London Art Fair’s annual exhibition of contemporary photography, providing a critical form for examining some of the most distinctive elements of current photographic practice. 2017’s instalment is ‘Gravitas’, a group exhibition of lens-based works, curated by Christiane Monarchi
‘Ethan McMurdo as monk, St. Ronan’s games festival, Innerleithen, Scotland on 19th July 2014.’ © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved
Christiane Monarchi explains the exhibition…
“‘Gravitas’ refers to one of the core personal virtues taken by ancient Roman society as an important part of the expression of a purposeful life, a facet of the ideal and well-rounded citizen. It denoted depth as well as a seriousness and solemnity of character. The presence of gravitas signalled the transition of the Roman youth from the ranks of boyhood to become a respected member of society.
Artistic representation of the interior world of children and adolescents as they enter the adult world is fraught with challenges: not least the existence of taboos regarding the portrayal of children in the media under the age of consent. However, at a time when childhood itself comes under increasing pressure from society in many real and virtual arenas, the path through adolescence constitutes a fascinating journey worth illuminating for both artistic and sociological discourse.
As the gap between childhood and maturity fills with lived experience and memory, how (and when) does the adult present him/herself today? What are the guiding virtues for today’s children, for their emotional well-being, expression of self and play? How does the adolescent identity evolve within and navigate contemporary society’s mixed bouquet of tradition and counterculture? These questions may have multifaceted answers shadowed by their own rapid obsolescence. They provide a window into the world of adults-in-waiting, whose virtues and vices can appear as timeless as the lens-based image and its prosthetic imaginary, which freezes these fleeting moments in their development.”
‘Young Girl (iii)’ © Wendy McMurdo 2016
Photo50 is kindly supported by Genesis Imaging