When does the childhood end? This question is not so easy to answer. For entry into the adult world there is no fixed date. Does childhood end when we realize that our parents are not omnipotent gods? When we realize that everything is finite and we are mortal ourselves? Or only when we forget what it is to be a child?
Ute Behrend traces in her book “The Last Year of Childhood” the conflicting emotions of this transition (published 2011 by POWERSHOVEL.BOOKS). In one moment you look impatient and longingly into the future, then wistfully back to the past and just a moment later you lose yourself totally in the present.
Behrends’ “Last Year of Childhood” is a family album, holiday diary and friendship book at the same time. And this diversified mix of color and black and white images suceeds to take us on an emotional journey to the verge of childhood: snap shots, strobe lights, memories.
Colorful balloons on the fence at night, summer at the lake, New Year’s Eve fireworks. Carnival, being sick, rabbits, cats, horses, Monopoly and Halloween.
These images of childhood look almost ordinary, but they are belted by Ute Behrend’s great sense for patterns, symbols and image sequences.
Yes, it felt all like this, you think after looking through the book. But nevertheless you cannot grasp or name it: the last year of childhood.