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Contemporary society is more obsessed with youth than at any other period in the past. Today, adolescents play a major role in shaping our inherently transient, fast-paced culture. Photographer and artist Coco Amardeil continues her exploration of their inner worlds with her new series Hello, it’s Me, a follow-up to her award-winning body of work, Come Hell or High Water. The one iconic object that currently defines adolescent life in the modern world is the smartphone, intrinsic to the image of today’s youth. The acquisition of an adolescent’s first smartphone is nothing short of a rite of passage; it is a ticket to another world, one where they can connect with kindred spirits, escape harsh realities and feel connected during this period of major transition. In the eyes of a generation that was only exposed to computers and the internet as adults, the intensity of the bond between teenagers and their phones can be difficult to comprehend, and even negatively perceived. However, for better or worse, the smartphone is a medium for the creation and definition of identity integral to adolescence. It is nothing short of a gateway, a key to a virtual universe that transcends their physical spaces and situations. Smartphones give adolescents the power to explore beyond the boundaries of the world around them, enabling them to expand different aspects of their identity through connections with others. Be that as it may, it is necessary to maintain a certain perspective regarding the virtual world. Amardeil’s series places the visual intensity of the stunning backgrounds in constant juxtaposition with the cold light emanating from the phone screens. This light shapes the rapt faces gazing into it as it reflects back a vision of themselves. These moments capture both an intensity and latent ambiguousness, in contrast with the glacial clarity of the distant landscapes. These magnificent landscapes, both urban and natural, surround the youths, however their backs are turned away from this external grandeur, and their intent faces ultimately pull focus from these spectacular backdrops. The work can be seen as an allegory of the challenges faced by adolescents attempting to balance the immense possibilities of the virtual and the splendors of the real as they make their way into adulthood. Like Hell or High Water, Amardeil’s series Hello, it’s Me seeks to portray moments when adolescents find themselves poised between two worlds – here the real and the virtual – as they seek to navigate a path through the shifting sands of their lives and negotiate their way into adulthood in an uncertain, ever-changing world.