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Editor's Letter

Youthquake - An ode to youth and what it used to be

Amy Gahyun Lee

Feb 12, 2018

Youthquake—defined as ‘a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people’—was selected as the Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year 2017.


Initially coined in Vogue’s January 1965 edition by Diana Vreeland, previous editor in chief of Vogue US, the word denotes an urban milieu galvanized by the progressive, cultural movement of a young and passionate generation.


The Young British Artists (YBAs) are no longer young. The Bauhaus and New York schools have long since closed their doors. Still, it would seem that every bygone era was at some point an emerging possibility that captured the imagination of its youth. And it would seem that it’s this youth that goes on to represent the movement as a timeless fixture in art history.


The latest generation of artists reiterates this notion, only this time the zeitgeist would seem to evoke a youth that is readily vying with the abstract. They’re ephemeral in nature. Neither here, nor there. Constantly reimagining their culture in both physical and virtual spaces as they iterate past the need for validation from the institutions of the art world. They’re realizing a platform to involve those outside of the art world in order to rediscover ‘the current discourse of contemporary art.’


How will they answer the fundamental questions with which every previous generation has grappled?


What is art doing? What should it be doing? What does it mean to our times?


This article was initially issued on February 9th, 2018 for Eazel's monthly newsletter.