The Audition 2014-2016
The Audition is a series of photographs made during prom season from 2014-2016 in collaboration with fashion designer Suzette Opara (828 Collection) and her clients. The images highlight the cultural significance of prom in African American community and make visible the robust community celebrations of families on the Southside of Chicago.
While custom fashion is the entry point into this series, the Audition focuses on African American adolescents' and general theories of psychological development. Through these photographs of young men and women, in both private and public space, I explore three stages of adolescent development outlined by behavioral scientist Erik Erikson in Childhood and Society. The egocentric state, the imagined audience, and the personal fable are variations of an imagined reality in which the teenager is the center of attention. As the teenage matures these fantasies melt away and the adult emerges as one who is able to manage outside attention realistically. The Audition depicts the physiological space of the dissolve, where attention is no longer a fantasy, instead of a reality that can be controlled by the performer.