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"A Small Taste of Freedom is an exhibition by the photographer Lindsay Morris which resulted from a collaboration between Morris and the Guild Hall Teen Arts Council (GHTAC) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Composed of portraits and audio interviews of GHTAC members living under New York State’s “stay at home” order, the exhibition captures the everyday happenings, coping mechanisms, and escape modes of area teens living through this historic moment.
Morris’ series is a true reflection of the challenge teenagers faced as their final months of school, graduation, prom, and other rites of passage slipped away. The project began as a portrait series of high school seniors in their cars, recording the expressions and body language of young people on the cusp of adulthood, with the automobile representing a quest for autonomy and freedom. As spring began and the reality of the pandemic set-in, the adventurous and hopeful narrative of these young people changed.
A simply stated question was posed to Guild Hall’s Teen Arts Council members: How is Covid-19 affecting you? Their answers regarding family hardships, concerns about academic success, fears regarding our global community, and free-floating anxiety are embedded in the visual and audio material exhibited, but even without accompanying interviews, the facial expressions in these portraits tell a story of loss and uncertainty.
The car no longer represents a getaway toward an exciting future, but rather a means to escape from stressful and even claustrophobic home lives. In some scenarios, if the weather cooperates, the vehicle takes teens to much-needed, albeit socially distanced, tailgate meet-ups. This new framing of the automobile (or other mode of transportation like bikes and skateboards) as an escape rather than a leap into the future, tells a different story.
Lindsay Morris: A Small Taste of Freedom is on view during regular museum hours, and is the first exhibition in the newly renovated Guild Hall Lounge. To experience the audio portion of this exhibit, patrons must bring their own mobile device with ability to scan a QR code, and a pair of headphones."