Ben Gore

SECOND ADOLESCENCE

Second Adolescence is a coming-of-age photo book.

Ben Gore’s ‘Second Adolescence’ follows the photographer’s personal transition from youth to adulthood. Featuring photographs of friends and strangers from his new home of Brighton, the book documents a year of adventures, relationships and growing pains as he flees his family home to stand on his own two feet.

His book explores him growing up, old habits. It shows him growing into himself as he gains independence. He documents the journey along the way. At its core it’s about change over time, both internal and external. Where you find yourself, who you find yourself with, what’s happening around you and your emotional response.

The book opens at his family home while on the journey to take his cat growing up to the vets for the last time. Shortly after that he moved to Brighton, where the rest of the book is set. The people in the book are friends and the people he has had fun spending the last year surrounded by. However, the street shots are strangers who caught his eye.

This body of work is autobiographical, where Gore was living away from home, working full time and fully independent for the first time. The subjects I want to include will be experiencing this themselves alongside me. Moving away to uni being completely independent but also juggling responsibilities of being an adult.

Second Adolescence is about being settled and taking in everything around you, it’s a portrait of an age, but showing a more detailed story. In the book characters recur and you can see relationships change. The only consistent character throughout is Brighton itself. This again is something I want to take forward into my own, looking at myself and my friends that live in student shared accommodation they will be the basis of the photographs.

HERE AND THERE

Here and there is a previous zine done by Ben Gore which also looks at the coming of age.

Here & There captures the difficult transition from youth to adulthood again similarly to his later book. The coming-of-age zine, consisting of 22 black and white photographs which differ between high-contrast symbols of maturity and adolescence, explores an inevitable limbo period of self-reflection, conflicting ideas and overwhelming desire to figure it all out.

Here & There was shot over about a year from summer 2012 to summer 2013 and it’s about coming out of uni as a confused young adult. You’re no longer a child and you’re not really a grown up. It’s a point in your life where you have to try and figure out your place in the world and what you really want to be doing with yourself. I feel like this whole idea on being a confused adult can also occur when starting Uni. I want to explore the same notions but during the first years at uni, what it’s like moving away for the first time and almost having the comfort blanket of parents etc taken away. The stresses that occur whilst at uni – what will I do after? money struggles, deadlines stresses, holding a job and uni work whilst all trying to be young and enjoying your time.

When looking at the layout of his zine he places photos between maturity and youth showing the opposition, this is in response to his idea of looking at the limbo between youth and adulthood. By having images that conflict each other it shows both sides and the concept is met with the aesthetic which is also something I want to explore when laying out the images for the book. He filled the zine with high contrast images with the intention that the light and dark were symbols of age and youth and in that way you could visually see that clash of ideas.

In regards to Story telling he says ‘My hope is that when I look back on all my zines, each will serve as a chapter in a wider story about how my life has changed. People are in a constant state of flux and each photo-zine is a portrait of a particular time in my life; where I was, who I was with, and what I saw around me.’

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