These photographs from ‘Colossal Youth’ by Andreas Weinand take me back to my youth, the late 1980,s when we weren’t all connected up, caught in a digital network in which everything was liked, shared, poked and caught on camera phone, a time in modern cultural and political history that was in flux, when music, art, literature and theatre were breaking all the rules, were finding a new expression. It was momentary. It was quickly appropriated and became the X generation. That was the end.
So here we are at the end of the 80s, Weinand is following a group of friends living in Germany, taking pictures, exploring the relationship between the individual and the society to which he lives and examining how the young express themselves through a vital energy that is uncontainable, is violent in its excess, visceral in its intent. The pictures could be mine, the mess, the detritus of after party madness, looking for mushrooms, running around naked, echo my own memories, my own debaucherous youth when nothing mattered, when everything was possible and fury, agitation, sex, love, alcohol and drugs were a fundamental part of all gatherings.
This bacchanalian lifestyle was the making of me, is the making of the young, through it we see the potential as we travel to the edge. This creative expression, this primal force that is born out of excess has the potential to change the world, can be distilled and ferment a revolution, however small, can make our world and your community a better place, a more equal and just society. It is the crack in the system that needs exploitation, it is the force that can topple the status quo. Sadly it’s too often snuffed out, drowned in material dreams; the job, car, house, pension, holidays once a year, kids, retirement, death. The trajectory we follow, numbed into submission.
So through these photographs remember your youth, remember that the young must travel to the extremities if they are to have the chance to learn and receive the clarity to change. Here’s what Weinand said about the project:
Melanie, Öhner, Stiffel, Limbo, Gero, Anna and her friends are young and live in Essen når Andreas Weinand spends much time with them and takes pictures from 1988 two 1990. While the first episode of the “Simpsons” is broadcasted in the USA, Florence Griffith-Joyner wins three Olympic gold medals in Seoul, the Berlin Wall falls and Tim Berners-Lee INVENTS the World Wide Web, the storm of youth rages indenfor clique , going full blast. The emotional Dizziness in the cosmos of invincibility, love, sex, drugs, alcohol, refusal, crash and resignation is always Greater than the world out there.