Created between 2011 and 2016, ADOLAND uses the adolescent bedroom as its theatre of operations. Caroline Hayeur has created an opportunity for time travel through the current and past adolescence of her subjects.

Using field research methods similar to those she used in previous projects, the artist found teenagers who allowed her to enter their private lairs. The bedrooms turned out to be an infinite field of stories that reveal inner and projected selves, constructed identities, alliances, identification and emerging sense of self.

She also gathered stories from adults about their own youth, accessing memories that had been buried to various degrees. Through her research, Hayeur discovered that the rooms of several of the former teenagers are preserved as mausoleums of sorts where the decor and artefacts have become part of an untouchable family heritage. Every parent mourns the departure of their children in their own way.

ESPACE F, Matane, 2015, © Mathieu Savoie

As archaeology from different eras, but representing the same passage to adulthood, the teenager’s bedroom is fertile ground for photography. The subjects come from the Greater Montreal area and other regions in Quebec. In addition to the photographic prints, the project also includes a series of videos.

The experience of her own teenagers leaving home during that period triggered Caroline Hayeur’s reflections on the subject. With ADOLAND she offers a personal poem with both visual and sound elements from her point of view.

ADOSPHERES. The points of view chosen for this project show a multitude of very personal worlds. There is no escaping the clichés associated with children’s or teenager’s rooms: all kinds of spillover, accumulation or clutter mark their territory. The artist does not set out to shock the viewer, but leads us into the rooms of average teens living in Quebec.

Serie of five videos, Language Plus, Alma and Maison de la culture de Côtes-des-Neiges, Montréal,
Centre culturel d'Amos and  Maison de la Culture de Longueuil, © Caroline Hayeur

The discovery of ADOLAND is threefold:

MOTIONS. In addition to the portrait, a series of videos explore the notion of portrait. During meetings with the teenagers and the ex-teenagers, the artist captured scenes on video. The five videos displayed in ADOLAND are in stop motion: Élaine and the liberating effect; the day planner as a space of creativity; Jacqueline and sweet nostalgia; Mrs. Lebeau and the empty nest syndrome; Victor and the sense of organization. The sound of the videos was created with Mylena Bergeron, the musician accomplice of the photographer in the Ying Yang Ladies duo.

Maison de la culture de Côtes-des-Neiges, Montréal, 2014 © Caroline Hayeur

HORIZONS. The series of thirty portraits is arranged on an ascending age timeline starting with the younger “model” and ending with the eldest. Single portraits or multiple portraits of the same person spread over several years, portraits of four people of the same family, there is a multiplicity of formats among the photographic prints. Quotes from the interviews conducted during the photo shoots bring a narrative element to the exhibition.

I like my room at my dad’s because it is very small and I can feel safe. It’s a place where I like being alone. It’s like a little nook where I can rest when I don’t feel like interacting with people, I go there and I feel like I’m in a cocoon. At my mom’s, it’s completely different, my room is a social place. I can invite friends, it’s a lot bigger, I can decorate more. My two rooms are so different that I cannot choose a favourite. It depends on how I feel.

          – Pétronille, 14 years old, Montreal

I have a big box, and it’s called my room at my parent’s. Everything is there, there is so much stuff! Since I left, I never dared clean up, my mom does it. And she even adds stuff, like my diplomas that she had laminated. If you want to do an exhibit on my life, you can just come here and poke about.

          – Jocelyn, 29 years old, Saint-Hubert 

Langage Plus, centre d'art actuel, Alma, 2017 © Caroline Hayeur

PARTICIPATION. The third element of ADOLAND is the “board”, with a kind of movie theatre screen. The artist displayed 600 small photographs: views of her model’s room (details, different vantage points), but also reproductions of her own family photo albums, from her teenage years and her children’s. Caroline Hayeur asked people in her different networks, like Facebook, her friends, acquaintances, and colleagues to participate in the collective board with pictures from their own teenage years.

Babillard, Maison de la de culture Côte-des-Neiges, Montréal 2014 © Caroline Hayeur

During the exhibition, Caroline Hayeur directed community art activities with groups of teenagers including a dozen students in a reception class for newly arrived immigrants aged 12 to 16 years from La Voie High School in Montreal. These teenage newcomers to Quebec completed a photography assignment on the theme of adolescence and habitat that was presented at the Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges. Since then the artist has organized many community art activities linked to the exhibit.

community art activity with La Voie high school, Montréal, Amos La Forest high school and Saint-Jean-Baptiste
Longueuil high school. MA CHAMBRE C'EST MON TERRITOIRE, © Caroline Hayeur

For her artist’s residency at Les Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie, she hit the road around Gaspesia with her son meeting eight new teenagers. Each received an iPod with a video mission to realize. The result title ADOLAND GASPÉSIE — LE FILM, MA CHAMBRE C’EST MON TERRITOIRE, can be seen online at la Fabrique culturelle of Télé-Québec

Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie, Maria, 2015, © Caroline Hayeur and Victor Hayeur

With ADOLAND, the artist’s interest in the social entity is renewed once again, particularly issues of generations and self-definition. This visual anthropology series echoes some of the artist previous projects, such as HUMANITAS, DWELL – BEYOND MY ROOM, DWELL – THIS IS MY HOME, MES NUITS BLANCHES or FESTIVE RITUAL.


Technical description:

– Series of 38 Digital prints
10 Digital prints, 51 x 60 cm (20 x 24 inches) each

26 Digital prints, 86 x 60 cm (34 x 24 inches) each

2 Digital prints, 155 x 60 cm (61 x 24 inches) each

– 5 videos on 5 small screens, 15 x 20 cm (6 x 8 inches) each
Élaine : Amen, c’est libérateur, 1 min. 59 sec.

Isabelle, Élaine et Élisabeth : Les agendas, 1 min. 38 sec.

Jacqueline : Immigrer c’est comme une seconde adolescence, 2 min. 05 sec.
Madame Lebeau : Ça me rappelle Jocelyn, 1 min. 53 sec.

Victor : Ranger sa chambre, 2 min. 08 sec.

Director, interviews and images: Caroline Hayeur
Music and Sound editing: Myléna Bergeron

– Photo installation on a large board

Board: 205 x 732 cm (80 x 288 inches)

Content: around 600 Digital prints, 13 x 18 cm (5 x 7po) and variable dimensions.

Exhibition history:
2017 – Solo exhibition, Maison de la culture de Longueuil
2017 – Solo exhibition, Langage Plus, centre d’art actuel, Alma, Quebec
2016 – Solo exhibition, Centre d’exposition d’Amos, Quebec
2015 – Solo exhibition, Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie, Quebec
2015 – Solo exhibition, Maison de la culture de Pointe-aux-Trembles, Montreal
2015 – Solo exhibition, ESPACE F, Matane, Quebec
2014 – Solo exhibition, Maison de la culture de Côte-des-Neiges, Montréal.

Maison de la de culture de Côte-des-Neiges, Montréal 2014 © Caroline Hayeur

Les fenêtres qui parlent
Langage Plus 
Maison de la culture de Longueuil
Centre d'exposition d'Amos
Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie
Maison de la culture de Pointe-aux-Trembles
Maison de la culture de Côte-des-Neiges