Laura London Photography: The Youth Dilemma
Daniel Azoulay Gallery - Wynwood Art District, Miami
January 10 - February 10, 2009
By Milagros Bello
Rules of Engagement-The Synonymy of Youth
London’s photographs of young subjects express the rules of engagement of contemporary teenagers, and depict a new embodiment of culture. Seeking their own meaning and identity, in a cross-cultural synonymy, they shape their illusions, their truths, their morality, through epic ordeals and heroic quests. These youthful subjects reveal themselves by their bodily actions and their defiant poses, creating a crucial taxonomy of signs. We can grasp their anxiety, their struggles, their sensuality, their ultimate inner mystery. London appropriates their crucial reality well, transforming them into iconic profiles of our contemporary society.
But London’s photographs are an illusionistic stage of images, a mise en scène of theatrical effects that interconnect to the utmost evidence of Baudrillardian simulacra. She meticulously prepares for shooting - choosing the model, the make-up, the utensils, the environment - creating a mimetic betrayal of the highest order. Her photos deceive the spectator and simulate a reality that has been perceptually invented.
From Private to Public-The Intimacy Exposed
In a methodic construction process, just as Cindy Sherman, Jeff Wall or Thomas Ruff have done before, she compiles objects and models always on a vertical plane based on the shape of the figure, over an enclosed location full of intimacy where private becomes public, and the human over presence of the teen becomes exposed. Her Inner Self becomes center stage in the photograph.
The narrative impact of these emotionless beings, frozen in their gestures, lies in a strong interaction with the viewer, through their penetrating gazes and impassive attitudes. They seem submerged in an impenetrable outer world linked to the unreachable abyss of the Unconscious.
Laura London is a photographer, who has lived and worked in Los Angeles, California for sixteen years. The city has been the setting for much of her work and the city’s youth culture has been its subject. In her first solo show at the Daniel Azoulay Gallery, Laura London presents ten large-scale photographs on the theme of rock-and-roll. This group of images includes five photographs from her highly-acclaimed series Rock Star Moments, one from the Almost True Tales series, and four large-scale pieces from her most recent body of work, Axl Rose Was My Neighbor.
Milagros Bello: Ph.D. in Sociology of Art from University of Paris VII, France. Chief Curator of The Curator’s Choice. Professor of Florida Atlantic University and Consultant Editor of Arte al Dia International. She works as freelance writer for NY Arts Magazine, Arte al Dia International, Nuevo Herald and Wynwood, The Art Magazine.
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