Our Children Today
Kids at play is spontaneous theater, each child playing the starring role. They are filled with a joy and wonder that adults can no longer comprehend. Child’s play lacks the strict rules, conventions, and social pressures of the “adult” world. For most, spontaneous play is only for children. As we mature we create inviolable personal spaces, a distance from each other with resistance and hesitation, we envy the absolute freedom and abandon of the very young.
In recreating the scenes of ‘kids at play’ with adults I have sought to investigate the nature of play itself and physical space between us.
My work often employs the camera’s potential to generate physical and temporal space parallel to an event and, effectively, place recollection on top of an unfolding moment in the present. I am intrigued by the concept of memory: both what is remembered and what has been forgotten.
The title of the show is taken from the book “Our Children Today,” published in 1952 by S. W. Gruenberg, which has caught my attention. Documenting kids at play brought back memories of my own childhood in Japan. “As a child I took pictures secretly with my sister when our parents were away. We invented roles to play act for the camera. After shooting we would return the camera and keep our game a secret. This secret, of course, was revealed when our mother came back with the developed films and prints.”