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?
June 10th's Asshat
May 24th's Asshat
May 8th's Asshat
April 25th's Asshat
April 10th's Asshat
March 28th's Asshat