Verzasca Foto Festival Awards - 2019 Nera Prize
HELLO IT'S ME
PORTRAITS OF ADOLESCENTS ON THEIR SMARTPHONES
Contemporary society is more obsessed with youth than at any other period in the past. Today, adolescents play a major role in shaping our inherently transient, fast-paced culture.The one iconic object that currently defines adolescent life in the modern world is the smartphone, intrinsic to the image of today’s youth. For better or worse, the smartphone is a medium for the creation and definition of identity integral to adolescence. It is nothing short of a gateway, a key to a virtual universe that transcends their physical spaces and situations.
Amardeil’s series places the visual intensity of the stunning backgrounds in constant juxtaposition with the cold light emanating from the phone screens. This light shapes the captivated faces gazing into it as it reflects back a vision of themselves. These moments capture both an intensity and latent ambiguousness, in contrast with the glacial clarity of the distant scenery. These magnificent landscapes, both urban and natural, surround the youths, however their backs are turned away from this external grandeur, and their intent faces ultimately pull focus from these impressive backdrops. The work can be seen as an allegory of the challenges faced by adolescents attempting to balance the immense possibilities of the virtual and the splendors of the real as they make their way into adulthood.
Amardeil’s series Hello, It’s Me seeks to portray moments when adolescents find themselves poised between two worlds – here the real and the virtual – as they seek to navigate a path through the shifting sands of their lives and negotiate their way into adulthood in an uncertain, ever-changing world.