Ages of Us is an interest in the process of ageing, the effects of that unstoppable process on our physical being and how our attitude, conscience, hopes, aspirations and desires change as we go through the stages of life. Age is one of the great and uncurable mysteries of science. We are told that lotions, potions, diets and lifestyle changes can slow, change and increase the effects and duration of this process but nothing can halt the inevitable destination.
At my current age of 46 I don’t yet have a fear of ageing, I’m more amused by it as I type figures that when I was 10 seemed inconceivable. I remember a school exercise when I was in junior school that asked us to work out how old we’d be in the year 2000. Mine was easy, I would be 30 and at an age when a week could be a lifetime, another 21 years seemed like it would never happen.
Age is a social preoccupation taught to us from an early age. From our first birthday we are taught to celebrate our birthdays, to expect presents, to mark our DOB and the passing of another year. Birthdays rock, initially! In youth we look forward to our birthdays, in later life we dread them.
Many life events / decisions are set by age, 12 years to move up to High School, 16 to legally have sex, to expect a free education, to drive a moped, work full time, join the Army, have your own passport and fly a glider! When you are 17 you can drive, be charged, become a blood donor. 18 to drink, vote, stand for election, serve on a jury, smoke, gamble, get married. Our “risk” potential for car, work, life and health insurance and our eligibility to get a mortgage are all determined by our age. Our working lives start, finish and are defined by our age, 65 for men to retire 60 for women, 100 to get a card from the Queen! Our age is a maker of our individual and humanities place in time.
Physically age has obvious visible effects and in the recent past I’ve done projects marking the beauty and elegance of old age. Beyond the lines and wrinkles of old age is an unseen life lived, a past filled with experience and learning, acquired knowledge and sometimes wisdom. In getting there we go through changes in our perspective, ideals and opinions, hopes and aspirations all influenced by our age.
Therin lies my interest and the start of an idea for #AgesOfUs that led myself and Emma (via coffee and cake) to decide the project should look at three broad stages of life, Youth, Middle and Old Age. In doing so, #AgesOfUs asks who we were, who we are and who we’re going to be asking questions about our past present and future.
The Location: California
To travel one of the "So Cal" tourist loops during the summer holidays to meet and photograph as many tourists and locals as possible in an 18 day trip. Start and finish in LA.
The bench is the constant staying the same distance, angle and height to the camera at all times. In the left seat (to camera) I will sit persons 0 - 25 years, the middle seat 25 - 50 years and the right seat 50 + years.
Where possible and when willing, participants will be asked the following three questions about their Past, Present and Future.
PAST: When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up? What was important to you when you were young?
PRESENT: What do you do now? What sort of things does your life involve now? What kind of work do you do , family, relationships? Whats important to you now?
FUTURE: What would you like to do in the future, whats left, what plans do you have for the future?