Deanna Templeton: What She Said
‘All I look forward to is the weekends, and sometimes they suck just as bad as the week does. God it’s so god damn boring!! When I wake up in the morning I feel like I’m 99 years old!! I’m so tired and lazy and unhappy. I’m only 15 years old, what’s wrong with me, why am I so UNhappy? This world is so fucked! People are so fucked! I’m so fucked or as my brother would say “Your a freak!”‘
What She Said takes its title from a song by The Smiths: “What she said was sad / But then, all the rejection she’s had / To pretend to be happy / Could only be idiocy.” The work originates in portraits Deanna Templeton made on the streets of the US, Europe, Australia and Russia, in which she captured women in their adolescence: punks and outcasts whose ripped jeans and tights, tattoos, and hairstyles stand as testament to this transitional moment in their lives as they navigate the intensity of teenage life. Templeton grew up in an ostensibly different environment in 1980s youth, but she recognised in them something of the universality of female adolescence, as they struggled with similar disappointments and challenges she encountered as a young woman. The book combines these modern portraits with gig flyers and Templeton’s own teenage journal entries from the mid to late 80s, in which the familiar experience of growing up is laid bare in all its antagonism, humour and pathos.