Jona Frank: Lincoln High ROTC

May 19–Aug 11, 2007

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Jona Frank: Lincoln High ROTC
May 19–Aug 11, 2007





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Jona Frank, Julia, Drill Team, 2002 (detail)

For the past decade, Santa Monica-based artist Jona Frank has used photography and film to explore the American adolescent experience. Lincoln High ROTC, Frank’s first solo museum exhibition, featured two three-screen videos—Julia, Drill Team and Bravo Company, Squad Drill Competition—about members of the Junior ROTC program at Lincoln High School in the San Francisco Bay area. In these films, her camera angles and cuts revealed both physical and psychological details about the students, from their commitment and seriousness to their youth and awkwardness. Without agenda or judgment, Frank elucidated her subjects’ dualities—culturally diverse Junior ROTC students training to embrace a strict and singular vision, and the adolescent penchant to challenge authority in confluence with efforts to conform to group rules. At once dispassionate and intimate, Frank’s videos portrayed the timeless and endearingly awkward vulnerability of young people on the threshold of adulthood, searching for personal meaning in their lives by mimicking postures and responses that seek to efface individuality.