The Raving Age. Histories and figures of youth

The Raving Age. Histories and figures of youth

This research project questions what has come of youth – a conceptual, aesthetic, and political figure that was born with modernity – in the visual arts, popular culture, and the humanities. Conversely, the project addresses what the problematic category of “youth” has brought about in contemporary art and thought.

Research project (2023) with Vincent Normand, Stéphanie Moisdon

Shirin Yousefi

If youth is a classic object for anthropological, sociological, or historiographical studies, the contemporary grasp of its aesthetic and political contours has proven to be a much more difficult task. Indeed, it is seen as an ill-defined object, constantly shifting, difficult to dissociate from the historical background against which it arises – to such an extent that, by being so much a part of the present in its most atmospheric dimension, youth seems to become its image, its most exhaustive yet also most fleeting portrait, meant to be renewed at each moment of history. It is at this precise point that this research project seeks to grasp its logic, not only to describe youth, but to use it as its very method.

This project does not intend to reproduce the categories that sociological or anthropological studies of youth have constructed, nor to reiterate the clichés that cultural industries have projected onto it, but to make the inextricable nature of the aesthetic and political dimensions of youth perceptible and intelligible. By exploring the processes by which youth is constituted through its forms of representation, this project seeks to grasp it as an allegory that will help rethink the “contemporary” through its most lively milieu.

Main applicant

Vincent Normand

Research team

Vincent Normand
Philippe Azoury
Stéphanie Moisdon

Lecturers and researchers

Julie Ackermann, Mohammed Almusibli, Ludivine Bantigny, Eric Baudelaire, Persis Bekkering, Federico Campagna, David Douard, Florian Gaité, Agnès Gayraud, Tristan Garcia, Guillaume Heuguet, Ingrid Luquet-Gad, Julia Marchand, Caroline Poggi, Simon Reynolds, Gisèle Vienne, Jonathan Vinel


Shirin Yousefi


September 2021 – September 2023


Le Consortium (Dijon, France)

Supported by

ECAL/École cantonale d’art de Lausanne
Réserve stratégique de la HES-SO (RCDAV)

Guillaume Heuguet.jpeg
Guillaume Heuguet Youth Music ECAL, 28.03.2023 ©ECAL/Marvin Merkel
Agnès Gayraud.jpeg
Agnès Gayraud Will You Love Me When I'm Sixty Four? Pop Music as an Art of Ages ECAL, 28.03.2022 ©DR
Tristan Garcia.jpeg
Tristan Garcia L'innocence de l'œil et le bonhomme-têtard ECAL, 28.03.2022 ©ECAL/Marvin Merkel
Gisèle Vienne.jpeg
Gisèle Vienne Extra Life ECAL, 27.03.2023 ©ECAL/Marvin Merkel
Persis Bekkering.jpeg
Persis Bekkering The Rave Continuum. Researching Plot and Politics of Europe's Last Youth Culture ECAL, 28.03.2022 ©DR
Ludivine Bantigny.jpeg
Ludivine Bantigny Representing Youth / Experiencing It. A Historical Perspective ECAL, 28.03.2022 ©DR
Lorenzo Benzoni & Luca Frati.jpeg
Lorenzo Benzoni & Luca Frati Immaterial forever ECAL, 28.03.2023 ©ECAL/Marvin Merkel