Anne-Marie Cloutier Teen Spirit

Jul 8–Aug 20,  2022
    Anne-Marie Cloutier, Desk, 2021. Courtesy of the artist
Anne-Marie Cloutier, Desk, 2021. Courtesy of the artist

In her series Teen Spirit, Anne-Marie Cloutier explores “teenagehood,” the short but formative period of time when the carelessness of childhood collides with the increasing expectations of adulthood. Through portraiture, the artist explores the ways her adolescent subjects choose to perform their identities and create a space of their own, while navigating a world where technology and social media have infiltrated every aspect of life.

Working in medium-format and 16mm film, Cloutier uses analogue media to give physical presence to this transformative period of her subjects’ lives, while also navigating the power dynamics inherent to portrait photography by allowing them to decide where and how they want to be seen. The series ultimately highlights the artist’s pursuit, as a parent, of insight into the inner lives of her teenage daughters, while inevitably relating to her subjects’ quests for self-discovery.

The Alliance Française Award exhibition presents two exceptional projects selected from work made by fourth-year students in the Creative School’s BFA Photography program, at Toronto Metropolitan University. Shown in relation to one another, Anne-Marie Cloutier’s Teen Spirit and John Delante’s Finding Comfort Under the Sky each address the transitional period of adolescence, from differing but complementary perspectives. One centers the point of view of a mother looking in, using portraiture and still-life photography as means of understanding and relating to her rapidly growing daughters. The other offers the unique, also intimate, perspective of a recently landed immigrant youth, coming of age in an unfamiliar place, looking out at his mother and his new surroundings, and using photography as a way to reconcile his past and present identities.

Curated by Bahar Kamali

Supported by Alliance Française Toronto, presented in partnership with CONTACT

Anne-Marie Cloutier is a Toronto-based documentary and editorial image-maker working primarily in photography and film. Her practice explores human experience—the human subject and the inner self—perceived through the lens of a camera. Currently, Cloutier’s work focuses on intimate and environmental portraiture as well as the urban landscape—a prosaic playground where she constantly finds inspiration.