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chaos, energy, lust, and rebellion: the zine capturing the eternal spirit of youth

Following their 2015 show in a Lower East Side laundromat, photographers Benedict Brink and Todd Jordan make their 'Spring Cleaning' exhibit the subject of a new zine. Featuring work by Gosha Rubchinskiy, Larry Clark, and Tyrone Lebon, peek inside this...

by Lynette Nylander
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Jun 30 2016, 2:10pm

No matter how far into the internet age we catapult, we still seem to have one nostalgic eye fixed on the 90s and the youth that populated the scenes. Whether it be images of Larry Clark's Kids or Ed Templeton's California skaters we can't stop reminiscing about a golden age for youth culture. Photographers Benedict Brink and Todd Jordan share our passion, which is why they put together their three-part exhibition, The Spring Cleaningin a Lower East Side laundromat turned art gallery last summer.

The exhibition showcased a variety of artists who, regardless of age, experience, or celebrity, bring to photography a sense of chaos, energy, lust and rebellion. It was such as success that Benedict and Todd joined forces with Art Director Dean Langley and Publisher Ben Freeman of Ditto Press to make a limited-edition zine of the images that featured, shot by the aforementioned Clark and Templeton, as well as Tyrone Lebon, Maya Handley, Claire Shilland, Deanna Templeton, and Andreas Laszlo Konrath.

We tracked down Benedict and Todd to ask them why it was important to bring the exhibition to the printed page and why — when it comes to the enduring appeal of images of youth — honesty is always the best policy.

Why was it important to you both to turn the exhibition into a physical zine?
We wanted a permanent home for all the pictures that we hung in the three shows. They were only up for about five days each and we wanted some kind of documentation of what happened last summer but not a regular exhibition catalogue. A zine ended up making sense; it's so nice to see the pictures printed and the style suits the images.

Did you see any of the images differently revisiting them for the zine?
Not particularly but it's definitely nice to see all of the images together — there's a lot of different stuff in there but all the pictures really speak to each other. There was no particular running order for the images in the book, but they all just work together as much as they stand out on their own.

How do you feel the images are united in their message and tone?
Well, when we first sat down and made a list of which photographers we wanted to include in the show, we didn't think too much about a theme or a message — but it just worked out that all of the photographers we loved and wanted to include had a certain rawness and energy in their work.

How did Dean Langley get involved as art director?
Todd and I had both worked with Dean previously when he was doing BEAT magazine. During the shows Dean had made some amazing posters and random printed material and we had all spent some time at Fedex and Kinkos printing and playing around with copies of the images — which is how the style of the zine came about. We actually made our own bootleg version with photocopies and cut up leftover posters that we had made and we gave a copy of that to Ditto Press as a starting point. This zine is like the grown up version of that original, and I think the format of the book and the way it was designed by Dean really makes it easy to look at!

The zine has become pretty hard to come by in a short time. Have you been surprised by the reaction?
We're just happy that people have responded the way they have. 20 more copies will be available through IDEA books at the end of the June — and then we're out! Unless you were a photographer in the show, if you were, hit me up as I have a copy for you and I'm sorry I didn't post it yet… been busy!

What do you think is the enduring appeal of images depicting youth, freedom, and sexuality?
They're honest.

What have you got planned next?
Something similar...but different.

The Spring Cleaning zine is available in very limited supply from IDEA Books and at Dover Street Market London and New York.

Credits


Text Lynette Nylander