CLASS | 2016
CLASS is a project created in 2016. In this project I've been working with teens from the Penrhos Alternative Education Centre in Colwyn Bay. Set around short working periods Ted has invited and challenged the teens to show her who they are.
The process of getting to know someone is a very complex matter. It is something, in this day and age, that has become overschadowed by social media. It connects people on a transparent level but its algorithms are incomprehensible. It sometimes stands in the way of an encounter, the exchange of thoughts and feelings in a physical manner. It is interesting to see what happens when we meet one another, when we talk, when we say that first word and find ourselves in a vulnerable position. What can we document about this process and what does this process comprise? Is it actually possible to get to know someone in a couple of encounters and what do we choose to reveal about ourselves?
Focussing on the process of getting to know someone this project shows a variety of approaches on the subject. It touches on different notions of representation, stereotypes, vulnerability and authorship. Via different visual material we get an insight in the lives of these teens but we are also confronted with the vulnerability of these young adults. Different layers present in the work show the interaction between camera and artist, the relation between the individual and the group. It touches on the tension of the school as a place of order and the outside, free from boundaries and rules. It questions the vulnerability of the individual and the power of a group in which every person displays power but also demands its own place in time and space. The videos balance on how the teens want to be seen and how the artist is imposing instructions upon them. What happens when you challenge very self conscience teens to stand in front of your camera and just stare into the lens? CLASS shows what it’s like to be there, vulnerable but strong.