press release

From May 24 thru September 7, 2003 the Gemeentemuseum Helmond, the Netherlands, will present the international exhibition CHILD IN TIME, Views of contemporary artists on youth and adolescence. Over the past few years visual artists have developed a growing interest in the representation of the world of young people and adolescents. Through their work, thirty artists will show different views of the first twenty years of our life: baby, infant, primary school age, teenagers and adolescents. In addition, the focus of attention is on the sensitive age of 7 to11 years old and on the dynamic period of adolescence.

The exhibition takes the visitor on a journey to the world of children, a world which is no longer one of innocence and purity, as the eighteenth-century enlightened philosopher Rousseau or the age of Romanticism which came after him wanted us to believe. Contemporary youth is just as hedonistic and seeking as adults are. Professor Willem Koops from Utrecht, who is doing research into the history of youth, talks about both 'unfulfilled youth and unfulfilled adulthood'. Unlike several decades ago today's youth has unlimited access to typically adult media like television, internet and mobile phones. The electronic media have no secrets. And without secrets the concept of childhood does not exist, according to Koops. Adulthood is no longer a stable phase; it is no longer a goal for contemporary youth. Otherwise, adults would prefer to return to an everlasting adolescence, a phase in life when all possibilities are still wide open. The world of advertising deliberately picks up on this trend. After a long period of rendering infantile - the world of the child was set apart from that of the grown-up- we now experience an attempt at concilliation between the two.

Perpetrator and victim Ever since the Dutroux trauma in Belgium, the murder in England of the toddler Jamie Bulger by two ten-year-olds and the Columbine High School murders, our view of childhood has been turned upside down considerably. The child is both perpetrator and victim. This idea also returns in a number of artworks. This way the visual language of art has changed recently. Anthony Goicolea, for example, shows the child as aggressor and Van Lamsweerde depicts the child as potential victim.

The artists in the exhibition show the deep-rooted emotions and accompanying behaviour in a variety of contemporary techniques: photography, video, DVD, computer animation. In addition the exhibition also includes installations and paintings. The visitor will undergo a myriad of impressions in his tour of the world of baby to adolescent.

A selection from Child in Time In the drawn animation 'Elisabeth' by Lars Arrhenius, a newly born girl grows up and dies an old woman within four minutes; Anthony Goicolea clones himself into a group of boyscouts who rush towards the viewer; Justine Kurland shows fifteen-year-old girls who relive their own fantasies in nature; Inez van Lamsweerde shows the downside of a hedonistic society by conjuring up four-year-old vamps; Hellen van Meene captures young adolescent girls in a state of reverie and day dreaming; the boys in the video 'Train' by Julika Rudelius tell each other about their sexual exploits and their own ideas of what is allowed and what is not allowed; in his dryly humorous water colours James Rielly depicts the absurdist side of young children; and in a suspenseful splitscreen video projection Maria Marshall in a penetrating way makes us share the feeling of indescribable tension between a mother and her eight-year-old son. Pressetext

only in german

CHILD IN TIME - Views of contemporary artists on youth and adolescence

mit Lars Arrhenius, Celine van Balen, Rineke Dijkstra, Michel François, Margi Geerlinks, Anthony Goicolea, Risk Hazekamp, Bill Henson, Teresa Hubbard & Alexander Birchler, Sarah Jones, Jan Knap, Elke Krystufek, Justine Kurland, Kiki Lamers, Inez van Lamsweerde, Sally Mann, Maria Marshall, Hellen van Meene, Ron Mueck, Muntean / Rosenblum, Abigail O´Brien, Erwin Olaf, James Rielly, Julika Rudelius, Paul M. Smith, Ge-Karel van der Sterre, Jock Sturges, Koen Vermeule, Alexandra Vogt