OUR TROUBLED YOUTH
"Our Troubled Youth" is a multimedia project including photography, video, writings, curated items from my own and other archival collections, and programmed events.
In an age of Facebook, Instagram, and other forms of online networking, and at a moment when definitions of “friendship” are undergoing rapid change, “Our Troubled Youth” traces a complicated history of friendship before social media -- through my personal archive of 1980s and 90s punk ephemera, through items from New York University’s Fales Library collection, and through an installation of original photographs and collaborative video. While many recent exhibitions and publications have focused on punk, there's been less attention given to the friendships and epistolary traditions that were at the heart of the scene. This show centers on these (coded feminine) aspects of punk in the form of confessional letters, mail art, and embarrassing expressions of fandom. The exhibition also keeps in focus how the word “friendship” has long operated as a euphemism for queer bonds. Queer friendships were also at the heart of New York’s punk arts and nightlife communities, a history of social networks that is encapsulated in the Fales Library. Through these multiple conduits, “Our Troubled Youth” pictures an underground narrative of friendship, while also considering how archives function to create both personal and official histories. Installation images are from NYU's Tracey/Barry Gallery.