Chronic Youth @ C-PS

Chronic Youth, New Works By Lise Haller Baggesen Through January 31, 2011

Lise Haller Baggesen’s ‘Chronic Youth’ is a presentation of glittery banners, marker pen graffiti’s, props and theatrical light effects, turning the storefront of CoProsperity Sphere into a silent ‘soda-disco’.The installation revolve around stereotypical role models, popular with kids today: The princess and the statue of liberty examples archetypical idols, whereas Lady Gaga and Lara Croft (or her toddler counterpart Dora The Explorer) are more contemporary heroines. For boys The Sports Idol and his unwholesome brother The RebelRockStar embody the coolness of puberty and rock stardom – the ideals of coming of age as seen from a young boys perspective. However, these role models also resonate in the adult mind, with the shameless idolization and exploitation of young kids in today’s popular media and youth cult.

For the exhibition Lise Haller Baggesen created a series of larger-than-life portraits of children play-acting some of these ‘American Idols’, drawn in glitter on black velvet banners. Set of by the pop lyrics in the marker pen graffiti’s on the windowpanes, the tableaux evoke an atmosphere, which is poppy yet sinister and serene at the same time.

Lise Haller Baggesen says about her work:

‘I am aware of the fact that admiring pre-adolescence and puberty from the safe distance of middle age is like admiring a thunderstorm through a picture window. Meanwhile, my pre-teen son’s view of puberty is more like that from a rollercoaster standing still on top of the slide, just as you are about to dive in. As for my 4-year old daughter in the rapture of her first ‘princess-phase’, she doesn’t see it coming… yet the market and media driven interests in the teenage phenomenon sees her.

Juxtaposing these three positions might seem like a stretch – but in this place and time, where pre-teens are hired to sell luxury clothing to the 40- somethings, precocious 10-year-olds are interviewed by fashion magazines, educational computer games like ‘Baby Einstein’ are marketed to parents who like to give their toddler a competitive edge and lovers of all ages express their most intimate emotions by means of pop-lyrics – it also seems strangely appropriate; in a society where youth is the pinnacle of being, and where pop culture permeates our very core, we are all doomed to perpetual teenagedom, for better or worse.’