Catalogue to accompany the exhibition, To Be Thirteen: Photographs and Videos By Besty Schneider on view at Phoenix Art Museum May 4, 2018 - October 14, 2018.
In 2011, photographer Betsy Schneider, herself the mother of a thirteen-year-old daughter, embarked on a project to explore the experience of being thirteen: “With this work I am interested in provoking thought about simple dichotomies to which adolescence is so often reduced. I am motivated by the intensity, the complexity and the beauty of that point in life. I wonder not only about the experience of early adolescence, but also about how we as adults retain that experience and how it shapes us for the rest of our lives.” Traveling around the United States, the Guggenheim grant recipient spent 2012 chronicling 250 thirteen-year-olds, creating still portraits and video documentation of each. The resulting body of work creates a rich collective portrait of a group of Americans whose lives began at the turn of the millennium and who are coming of age now. To Be Thirteen depicts all 250 portraits, and includes an interview by Center for Creative Photography Chief Curator Rebecca Senf with Schneider, unpacking details about the artist’s process, insights about the experience, and how the project changed her, as well as excerpts from the thirteen-year-olds’ own words. This publication captures and conveys the experience of meeting with the artist and looking through a stack of prints with her, and will complement an exhibition of the project debuting at the Phoenix Art Museum in May of 2018.