Teenage Riot: Representations of Adolescence in Contemporary Art

The child has always been a favoured subject for artists. Recent exhibitions both in Australia and internationally address the shift from a sanguine vision of childhood to alternative representations, where children are presented as desirable and desirous, menacing yet vulnerable, widely unpredictable and ultimately mysterious. Artistic works by Robert Gober, Ronnie Van Hout, Larry Clark, Katie Siegel, Justine Kurland, Anna Gaskell, Diane Arbus, Di Barrett, Mark McDean, Anne Ferran, Polixeni Papapetrou, Bill Henson, Pat Brissington, Tracey Moffatt, Deborah Paauwe, Mona Hatoum and Nic Nicosia all help to illuminate the complexities of adolescence, a subject of ambivalence wedged between contradictory discourses and spaces of transition.

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