Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Asshat of the Week---Jill Greenberg

Our blogging buddy Carmachu sent me a link the other day nominating a potential Asshat.

He was feeling rather digusted over a photographer who was making babies cry to produce a political art exhibit.

After reading the link he sent and doing some googling on my own, I have to agree.

There's been a lot of controversy surrounding photographer Greenberg's recent show at the Paul Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles.

Although her work has been mostly commercial, her "fine arts" resume consists of photographing monkeys.

And now it includes making babies cry while taking pictures of them for art and profit.

She's taken around 35 pictures of different children for her exhibit, some of her own two, some from friends and some from modeling agencies.

Greenberg defends her work by saying, "I have a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, and she cries for no reason, a hundred times a day. It's normal."

I don't know about anyone else, but as a parent, I certainly don't think that at two-and-a-half, crying "for no reason, a hundred times a day" is "normal".

What were the parents of these children thinking? Stars in their eyes? Heads up their butts?

Let's see....they take their babies to Greenberg's studio. Under the lights, she takes their shirts off, pokes them with a stick to make them cry and takes pictures of them.

In the meantime, these idiotic parents sit in the wings hoping that if their baby cries attractively enough, Greenberg will make him famous.

Ok, I made the "poking with the stick" part up. I really did.

Greenberg actually gave them lollipops, let them lick them and then snatched them away. And zoomed in with her lens.

She says, "Maybe getting kids to cry isn't the nicest thing to do, but I'm not causing anyone permanent psychological damage."

How does she know this? By taking The Dr. Phil 20-Minute TV Seminar on Advanced Psychology? By sleeping at a Holiday Inn Express last night?

Frankly, to be honest, I don't think she's really causing them permanent psychological damage either.

But why in the world would any responsible parent deliberately allow some photographer to make their most precious child--their baby-- frightened or distressed enough to actually cry for the sake of profit?

It's your job to keep them feeling safe, you boneheads!

Forget about art for a minute. Do any of these parents imagine that Greenberg would have done this project if there wasn't a financial incentive?

It makes me wonder.

How far is too far when it comes to our children?

What is acceptable for the sake of :::koff::: art?

Should lines be drawn? And where?

A couple of weeks ago, RC at Strange Culture wrote a post about how many search hits he had gotten off his blog when he wrote about a controversial new movie that 12-year-old actress Dakota Fanning is filming, called Hounddog (post is at this link). He has an interesting debate going on in his comments section. Go check it out and take a minute and weigh in.

Apparently some of the backers have pulled out, because there are explicit scenes of Fanning's child character being brutally raped, and scenes where she is naked or clad only in her panties.

My stomach hurts just contemplating this. How necessary are these explicit visuals to further the plot (or--puke--maintain "artistic integrity"), and how much is titillation for pure profit?

And what in the hell are HER parents thinking?

Previous Asshats:

June 10th's Asshat

May 24th's Asshat

May 8th's Asshat

April 25th's Asshat

April 10th's Asshat

March 28th's Asshat


Jod{i} said...

Oh my word...
I, I am speechless on the film. As a SPEC screenwriter and an editor for other screenwriters, I have to say, less is more. Old school way..THe insinuation just makes a better film. Hell what do I know...Maybe thats why I havent sold one yet..lol But it is what I have learned through out the process.
I say the photographer on MSNBC, defending herself. BEFORE, I saw the actual pics, I was, Okay, cant be that bad...and then the pics and it changed my perspective..My stomach tumbles a bit as well.
I have 4 kids and yes they can cry a "hundred" times a day, but I am not taking pics of them either.
But I have to ask...by doing this hasnt she created the drama for her cause? Sad that something as this is what it takes...

Great entry!

KL said...

This exact same thing was just one indicator there was something wrong with my sister-in-law. She would brag about the fact that when her son was a baby, she could make him cry just by looking at him. She seriously thought this was funny and would do it for friends and family and the like. Talk about a sick wacko!

Kevin Charnas said...

I think it's sick. How the hell does that asswipe know if she is or isn't causing damage. And the parents are buttlicks too. If that's what you have to do to produce your "art", then you're desperate and not very talented.
I bet if I kicked her in the ass hard enough to make her cry, it still probably wouldn't leave any lasting psychological effects and I'm willing to try.

And the Dakota Fanning film? holy shit, what is anyone thinking...i'm sure that it's going to be really enlightening to society.
I feel sick to my stomach.

carmachu said...

Keep in mind, 35 parents ALLOWED themselves to be paid so she could make their children cry and take theirphoto.

Damn Attila, why didnt you tell me this was coming out today. I havea better one......I'll email it to you. Yes I have some parents that are worse than her....

carmachu said...

I have to agree. I was amused by her "well MY child cries 100 times a day, so it must be normal."

No dear, your a fucked up parent, THATS why your child cries alot.

I loved the part wher she sticks her kid ona wobbly apple box to make her cry. Damn, if I WERE her child, I'd cry alot too if thats what she does with them.

There's good news, however. In 40 years, that child she makes cry will be deciding HER fate and what nusrsing home to stick her in.

What comes around will go around.

Annie Drogynous said...

The parents of these children must be thrilled that they're going to be famous from all this.

As for your quote...

I don't know about anyone else, but as a parent, I certainly don't think that at two-and-a-half, crying "for no reason, a hundred times a day" is "normal".

Priceless. There is always a reason for a young child crying.

RC said...

how horrible...

that's really sad...

argh! I hate art at the expense of children.

it makes me want to watch the documentary Born Into Brothels to remember that there is art in this world that helps children as well.

Thanks for the link on the Dakota Controversy...that's equally ridiculous.

--RC Of strangeculture.blogspot.com

lildb said...

that's lame. about the babies being set up for a cheap shot, er, picture.

re: Ms. Fanning's illegal ass being placed on celluloid for a "legitimate" film? pretty typical of a soulless filmmaking crowd, I'd say. and her parents right along with 'em. gross.

good thing we're not all cut outta that cloth, huh?

sheri said...

OMG! Art?! If she wants to see real children's art, she should look at the thousands of wonderful photos of small children laughing.

There is nothing like a wonderfully shot photo of a child laughing to set the crowd to ooing and ahhing.

Lisa Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

That is astonishing. If her own kids cry 100 times a day for no reason, why not just take unstaged shots of them for her ART?


A Bishop wife said...

This is too horid for words.
It is apalling!
It is sick.
Icould only look at 4 pictures and
could not stand anymore. This first thing I thought was "What are they doing to make them cry?"
Those expressions were horrid!

Brenda said...

As a Mom and Grandma, I have to wonder what kind of parents would allow her to do this to their babies? It's downright mean!

Nikki said...

Just sick.

Aren't you supposed to keep them from crying instead of making them cry?

Aren't you supposed to pick them up and comfort them when they cry instead of getting in their face with a camera?

Her kids wouldn't cry so much if she would put her camera down and pick her children up.

What a TWIT.

parnellpr said...

So if she knows that babies cry all the time why didn't she just wait and photograph them "au naturel"? i wouldn't want her to look after my kid.

Mr. Fabulous said...

I think this photographer is, indeed, an asshat.

But I giggled for several minutes at the thought of her poking them with a stick :)

abfh said...

Asshat is too kind a word to describe a sicko like that! And the parents deserve to be put in an old-fashioned pillory and pelted with rotten vegetables, while a photographer takes pictures of their interesting facial expressions.

Samantha said...

That's awful! I love these entrys of yours, makes where I live seem that little bit more normal. I like to take photos of people sleeping, I have no idea why!

Beki said...

The hat fits so she should wear it!

The news of the film really disturbs me. No doubt the makers will make noises about it being art, real life, audiences can be subjective and intelligent. Yes some of the audience can be but sadly not all.

I will never forget the horror when a schoolfriend of mine told me her brother bought a copy of 'The Accussed' as they thought Jodie Foster in the rape was 'dead sexy' *shudders*

Lucky said...

She gets my vote. I'd like to take away whatever award or money she's getting and take a bunch of pictures of her while she cries.

What a heartless wench.


Its funny that Beki mentions "The Accused" I watched that movie with an old old boyfriend of mine. He liked to get me riled up by telling me "she asked for it." He also said that he went to that bar like it was cool or something. Like I said old boyfriend. Now I hear from you guys that there is a movie with a scene with a child being raped in it. Also what is the art in making a baby cry? Sometimes I really wonder why people need to push the buttons. Why is it so important to show such things?

carmachu said...

In this case dear, it has a political agenda attached to it....

Anonymous said...

I had a look at the photos and I cant think how anyone is getting anything out of them.

happykat said...

I'll point out again that the photographer can go to any retail shop and get tons of pics of kids wailing their heads off.

It's not like the women is an asshair on the butt of society, however she ain't helping anybody. She affecting the psyche of kids for her benefit. The parents are doing the same thing. They're all stupid.

Michele said...

I just feel like crying. My kids often cry when they don't get their own way. I get that. But I'm never purposely mean, and make them cry purpose. This really disturbs me. Yeah kids cry all the time. But it should never be because an adult made them. It's just so... Mean. I'm trying to come up with a more prolific and intelligent word - but that's all that keeps coming to my mind, it's just mean!