Adrienne Salinger:
Teenagers in Their Bedrooms

Surrey Arts Centre
September 11 - October 31

Adrienne Salinger, Leslie M (1991),

American photographer Adrienne Salinger offers a rare and candid look at the lives of 40 suburban teenagers in this coming-of-age series. Although they were shot in the United States, the messages conveyed by her photographs seem universal and timeless. Even more surprising are the intimate relationships apparent between photographer and models.

Caught midway between the past and future, the teenagers and their personal possessions project a guarded sense of assertiveness. Stuffed animals and framed communion pictures share space in their bedrooms with ashtrays and pin-up posters. Walls are alive with decorative images. The body language of her subjects expresses hard-won autonomy and newly-glimpsed identities.

As a series which might well have been titled "Twin Bed and Rock Poster", these candid photos and the accompanying book - introduced by Tobias Wolff of "This Boy's Life" - will make you look differently at every teenager you see.

© Mia Johnson