How (not) to fit in – Metaphors of Adolescence
Villa Merkel, Esslingen
08.05.2022 – 17.07.2022
Adolescence is commonly located in youth, but our complex present means that its typical dynamics – negotiations between the individual and society, between self-perception and perception of others, or between emancipation and integration – now last a lifetime. The rapid confrontation with different roles and the light-footed adaptation to constantly changing expectations no longer characterise only "apprenticeship and wandering years", but have become normative requirements that affect us all again and again. Nevertheless, all social groups are by no means equally free to determine their life paths. Media clichés and structural discrimination ensure that many people live and struggle with imposed role attributions and glass ceilings, or are exposed to stereotypical expectations.
The exhibition How (Not) to Fit In – Metaphors of Adolescence brings together artistic contributions that open up intersectional perspectives on adolescence, as well as on adolescence as a metaphor, for social dynamics.
In addition, common media narratives are questioned and experiences of discrimination and their overcoming are addressed. In the exhibition, the artistic examination of liberation from restrictive life plans, overcoming predefined paths and rejecting stereotypical role models does not lead to an egocentric self-reflection. Rather, it focuses on social structures and the personal confrontation with them. Through the diversity of artistic references, experiences can be experienced that also lie beyond traditional narratives, creating a multi-faceted, critical and differentiated panorama of growing up, puberty and adolescence.
Curator: Benedikt Johannes Seerieder