Adrienne Salinger’s photo book, In My Room: Teenagers in their Bedrooms, depicts how teenagers in the 1990s defined their most intimate and self-governing space. The series showcases various bedrooms and their inhabitants—mostly all covered in pop culture posters and symbols, indicating a paradox between self-identification and the need to identify with things outside of us that stereotypically represent teenagers. Salinger’s photos, however, allow more of an agency for self-identification for these teens through her 2-hour long interviews and natural placement. The subjects of her most famous work are leveled with the observer where we do not cast them off as immature, naive, or other normative views of teenagers. Instead, we see them in control in their most private, comfortable space. In My Room physically represents what teenagers, today, use social media pages for—a struggle in the formation of identity and what comprises it both against and with media representation.
Salinger is currently a professor of photography at the University of New Mexico. Her work has been exhibited and displayed in permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, and several more.
Images courtesy of Adrienne Salinger