Stacy Kranitz’s first solo show at Little Big Man features a collection of photographs taken over the course of multiple years at Skatopia in southern Ohio. The images will be on view alongside a feature length film about her relationship with a young man named Jerimy who she met while working on the series of images. From the Study on Post-Pubescent Manhood will be on view January 31 - March 14, 2015.
Kranitz’s work seeks to assert a distinct continuity between violence and catharsis. She is specifically concerned with defining a validatory purpose for violent acts. By connecting the antisocial to the related emotional release, she clarifies such behavior as not only human, but necessary. Kranitz takes on the unruliness of humanity, and submits it to order.
Her photography shows both a fascination and ease for the intensity and apparent risk in such situations—something Kranitz relates to a childhood marked by bouts of domestic violence. She immerses herself in the work and explains that the images are best described “not as documentation but rather as an exploration of the ethical boundaries of representation and the subversion of the photographer’s ‘role.’ I willingly cross these boundaries to insert myself into the experience,” she explains. This immersion yields images that illustrate blood soaked young men with broken noses and flayed skin, all snorting, puffing, pushing and pulling. While youth and rage are hardly indifferent bedfellows, Kranitz seeks to assert that aggression and the onset to adulthood are a potent—and logical—human mix. The results are photographs that emit the adrenalin and dysfunction of the moments captured.
The narrative of Kranitz’s film focuses on the relationship between herself and Jerimy, addressing the complexities and veracity of the relationship between documenter and her subject. All the while, the film explores the coming of age of its subject, and the contemporary realities of both poverty and freedom. Kranitz presents the intimate relationship between herself and her subject, uncovering the ways in which she provokes, empowers, and exploits him. The footage reveals Krantiz as a filmmaker who willingly utilizes her subjects, both glorifying and fetishizing their sexuality and youthful vitality. It tows the line between pleasure and pain, lust and adoration, friendship and fascism.