Adolescent Fears

My work deals with human behavior, gender and identity. It touches both on Sociological and Psychological issues. I’m interested in setting up scenarios to observe and capture the role play of identities. Identity can be defined as the state of being a certain person or certain thing and being recognizable as such. Identity can be the way we see ourselves as well as the way society sees us. I question how much of our identity is up to us and how much is determined by society. From the time we are born the people around us start shaping how we see ourselves. As one grows up our culture around us influences this more.

As youth identities are still being explored. Since so much of our identity stems from culture and what we associate ourselves with I asked my participants what their favorite fantasy was and their fears when they were growing up. Interesting enough, some girls were still fantasizing about being rescued or playing the victim where others were free to play any role whether it was the victim, the aggressor or the hero of sorts. The males still identified with the strong aggressor or hero type portrayals. During the portrait session I found that some of the shy awkward moments during the Southern Adolescence series were now transformed into comfortable playful moments now that the masks were added.

I find it fascinating that we can transform our identity even through for a moment with a wig, a mask or a different scenario. Identities can be affected and altered by role-playing, transforming us for a moment in a photo but possibly transforms one’s mind.

Rose M Barron

Artist Statement