Museum of Contemporary Art / MCA Chicago
Eternal Youth explores the concept of coming-of-age as a crossroads in art history: how have artists represented youth since the twentieth century? In particular, since the 1980s, images of youth in the western world have elicited both desire and fear, responding to social, cultural, and political shifts such as HIV awareness and gender bending transition. This exhibition examines the different ways youth is portrayed—as simultaneously innocent and desirous—revealing the treatment of young bodies as sexualized, radical, and medicated objects.
This survey of works, comprised mostly of the MCA’s collection, starts with photographs by Larry Clark from his now infamous Kids series (from a major gift by the Howard and Donna Stone Collection), and the movie of the same name, which was released in 1995. Written by Harmony Korine and coproduced by Gus Van Sant, the film tells the story of a single day in the life of a group of sexually active teenagers in New York City, and offered breakout roles for actors Chloe Sevigny and Rosario Dawson.
The works gathered together for this exhibition—by Rineke Dijkstra, Leon Golub, Mona Hatoum, Jack Pierson, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Francesca Woodman—stretch from analog culture into the utopic digital age. Accompanying programming includes talks and an online debate about art, youth, and society at large.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website