This is a follow on post from the last post, as they are technically the same exhibition just separated by a floating wall.
Larry Clark, Teenage Lust. FOAM.
This exhibit starts with a miniature photographic autobiography of Larry Clark himself, which stands to reason the insertion of photo titles and medium notices, to ensure we know we’re looking at Clark not another youth from Tulsa.
The rest of the exhibit seems to be images from the series. For one of the images, “Speedy and Barb” standing in the bath, we are somewhat led to assume that Clark had a bond with these two, without looking at the Internet or accompanying book, as with Tulsa we were never formally introduced to the figures in the photographs. The next image is again of Speedy and Barb but left “Untitled” as the contents of the picture illustrate quite succinctly the actions within.(The photo came from the exhibition pamphlet I bought after visiting the exhibition.)
“Tom Zimmermann” and numerous other photos in this exhibition introduce us to the people within the photographs: I’m still not sure why compared to the Tulsa exhibit.
On the third wall we are met with the photo Sean O’Hagan (as far as my memory recalls) purports to be Larry’s most controversial image as it’s not a male casually playing with a life altering drug but a female. I can’t remember Sean’s article and that is nowhere near an apt paraphrase but it rings a bell with regards to this photograph; I’ll try and find the article at a later date: and change that last sentence when I do with a verbatim quote.
In the second hall of Teenage Lust is a montage print, it portrays a sleeping dog flying above a male running along what appears to be a beach or coast. I found it amusing but I could tell other visitors were not finding the same level of amusement as I.
In a cubby hole within Teenage Lust is a mini series of photographs from “42nd Street Series” with one stand out image that could have inspired or been inspired by “Man in Polyester Suit” by Mapplethorpe? Assumption perhaps but it’s an educated assumption.
Back to Teenage Lust, if I hadn’t watched Wolf of Wall Street I’d have no idea what a ‘Lude’ was and this image of “Alex” would have meant nothing to me.
In one of the last photos of the exhibit we see Clark himself with a belt wrapped just above his right elbow with a tiny stream of blood trickling down it before his arms were raised as if someone is pointing a gun at him; but we know it’s a camera. It is a comic photo of a dire situation. Who the photographer is I’m not sure, once again the image is “Untitled”.
End note: One thing I found interesting which I didn’t notice until I moved onto the Teenage Lust exhibit in the room adjacent to Tulsa was the fact that none of the photographs in Tulsa had titles or medium notices, although both exhibits were framed the exact same way.
I had fun reading the images in both exhibits, and with Tulsa, the narrative, as loose as it was, was intriguing to follow. I hope my next gallery visit throws my imagination into high gear as well.