Uploaded 14 Feb 2012
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© jesse Hunniford
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

This project is an age specific, visual response to the antics of The Excitement Gang. The gang is a group of young lads that grew up in Scamander on the East Coast of Tasmania. The founding members who split from their spouses at the time, started out with one rule, "no girlfriends". With the formation of local punk band Luca Brasi the group became even tighter and more destructive as the lads sole pack like behaviour became about doing the most raw dog stuff that one could.
Throughout my youth I have been a part of a rowdy and self-destructive lifestyle revolving around booze, drugs, music and all the raucous that comes inherent with these activities. At one stage this lifestyle brought me to confront death, my liver was on the verge of failing and I was slowly turning yellow. After a few years off the turps, I now find myself contemplating why many young men go through these obscene stages in their life. This series of black and white photographs is a personal investigation into why young men are drinking themselves into oblivion on a regular basis. Even though it brought me face to face with death, I have met some of the best people and had the best times of my life when I was at the heart of the rats nest. With this in mind I do not intend to shed a bad light on it all.
Australian artist Ben Quilty says that much of his work is of "young men looking for initiation". While my work does address hierarchy and initiation within groups, central to my inquiry is escapism. Each weekend these young testosterone fuelled men get to leave their dull jobs and chase their fix of excitement with a 48-hour binge. Another factor that contributes to this binge is the rise of the digital age. In contemporary society it is hard to escape the bombardment of new media advertising. Alcohol companies are now using new forms of advertising within the digital boom and some of the existing regulations that used to apply to older advertising may not be keeping up with some of the new media platforms.
Over the course of around a year I have employed both digital and analogue technologies. Access to subject matter and location has been the demining factor. Artist of influences are the aesthetic and my similar style to that of Anton Corbjins band photography and Mary Ellen Mark's 20x24 Polaroid images with their inherent borders. I have employed these combining visual aids and a black and white palette to add rawness to the imagery to aid in audience's interpretation. The images are accompanied with two forms of text where by the subjects name and occupation are recorded to provide additional context and further questioning for the audience.
Susan Sontag stated "Photographs will offer indisputable evidence that the trip was made, that the programme was carried out, that the fun was had" and "travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs". While my works don't respond to act of physical travel this applies to the thousands of photographs that youths capture wh

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