The Coming of Age

Cara Benedetto


Book, 18 x 11.4 cm, 156 p., language : English, publisher : Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart, ISBN : 978-3-942144-35-3.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2027/558).

Literary synopsis

The Coming of Age came as honestly as she could with her mother watching from some shore. She couldn’t step because the walk broke off like a pony tail holder with eight straight sides. Gimmie a break Age screamed as the pointer shot at her head blank again.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

The Coming of Age began by questioning how value is created around the romance novel as a form, and the psychology of the marketing of anticipation, longing and in the end a certain kind of alienation. And how that related to the erotics of consumerism or how we buy to possess, or love to own. Benedetto decided to rewrite the tools that created value around romance. To create similar promotional materials that included abundance, plurality, care and commitment, as well as the more precarious dimension to one’s relationships, not only to one another and a social, but to oneself.

The series included a teaser trailer, billboard ad, wiki page, several press releases, paragraph affairs, a sales pitch and even the novel itself. The idea was to make work that was not invested in arrival strategies or coming one time, but coming many times, with many releases, as small and early as they may be. The artist used the tools that were already in the world and altered them, in order to question the labor of love and how it was being sold to us through a lens that was undoubtedly singular, brutal, and to maintain a system of enslavement without contract. This system is entrenched and assumed in heteronormativity. Benedetto focused on group shows as a way to disseminate. A way to move through many kinds of social. She created press releases to press release and more often than not used print media, playing with multiples in order to communicate.

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