American Photo story (Jill Greenberg)

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by thebanana, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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    The latest edition of American Photo has a story about Jill Greenberg, a photographer in L.A. who specilaizes in taking portraits of crying children under the age of 3. The upshot is that she actually creates the conditions that force them to cry, in order to take the shots. She does this by removing their clothes, giving them a candy and then taking it away. placing them in uncomfortable positions etc. Her critics contend that what she is doing amounts to chiuld abuse. Her own comments tend to support that view in my mind. I think this is the most disgusting story I've ever read about a photographer.
     
  2. Troy

    Troy Subscriber

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    That's evil and mean. Like kicking a dog. To inflict any kind of pain on a child for any purpose other than an immunization or the like is sickening. Where are their parents? Counting the modeling fee?
     
  3. Dinesh

    Dinesh Subscriber

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    Very disturbing.
     
  4. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    I am not sure which is worse... this sick-o woman for doing this, or the creeps who are buying them... what the heck is wrong with people?
     
  5. haris

    haris Guest

    Nothing is wrong with people. Being good is not natural human state, it is exception. So, that is perfectly normal for our kind of living creatures.
     
  6. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Gee, when I photograph kids I only hit them with a stick, when they start to cry.

    I'm sure her book of these groundbreaking photographs will be in stores by Christmas.


    MIchael
     
  7. Dinesh

    Dinesh Subscriber

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    Isn't it easier to just put the kids in Chicago Cubs jerseys?
     
  8. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    Exactly, you will get crying children just by photograping them. It is really close to abuse, to me at least, to go to these kinds of extremes to make them cry. If you are trying to capture natural human states, you shouldn't need to torture your models to get them.
     
  9. unregistered

    unregistered Inactive

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    "Jill Greenberg discusses her latest body of work, "End Times," a portrait series of crying children that doubles as a critique of the Bush administration."

    What a bunch of hooey...trying to rationalize this as a political statement.

    The pics on her site show children in complete anguish. This is just wrong.

    She says in the podcast:

    "I don't want to upset the children too much".

    "As a mother of 2 children, I know they often cry all the time, and 2 minutes later, they are perfectly happy, so its not like I'm doing any type of permenant psycological damage by doing the photo shoot".

    She's even going to get a commercial job out of this. How sick.

    http://podcasting.americanphotomag.com/2006/AmericanPHOTOPodcast.mp3
     
  10. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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  11. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    She seems to be a bit sadistic, no?

    Rich
     
  12. unregistered

    unregistered Inactive

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    The name of her site, the manipulator.com should give you a good perspective on her personality and the type of person she is.
     
  13. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Her manipulation of the images looks to me to be right out of the Loretta Lux School of Image Processing. Such mannerisms get tiresome very quickly. Therefore she's certain to be a huge commercial success, a la Anne Geddes.
     
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  15. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Interesting concept.

    It's kind of like if "migrant mother" lived in one of your rental houses and you evicted her and turned her out on the street then took pictures of her.

    Some people will do anything for money and attention.


    Michael
     
  16. Poco

    Poco Member

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    "Loretta Lux School of Image Processing."

    Clearly you're missing the subtle differences. While every shot of Lux's looks like Norman Rockwell story-boarding a creepy horror movie, this artist is clearly going for the demented Gerber Baby look --

    "But, (sob, sob) it tastes (sob, shriek) like shit!"
     
  17. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    My immediate response to the photos themselves was "I like it". Then I thought about it, how many children did she have to do that to to get the number of results she needed? She's gotta be pretty F-ed up to sit there and manipulate that many children to cry. They're strong images, but knowing how she did them makes me wonder about her own psyche. I'm a weird cat, but even I wouldn't attempt it. You just don't mess with children. In the podcast she says each shoot only took 15 minutes and according to her that's not long enough to affect a child. Is she high? So I suppose it's okay to molest a child as long as it doesn't last more than 15 minutes. This is clearly child abuse. Okay so the parents gave her permission. Say a person you met in a mall came up to your child and purposely caused them to cry. You'd have them arrested. So if you give permission for this sick-o to do the same thing then you should be locked in the prison cell with her.
    Ara
     
  18. unregistered

    unregistered Inactive

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    "Therefore she's certain to be a huge commercial success, a la Anne Geddes."

    LOL How true
     
  19. unregistered

    unregistered Inactive

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    "Say a person you met in a mall came up to your child and purposely caused them to cry. You'd have them arrested. So if you give permission for this sick-o to do the same thing then you should be locked in the prison cell with her."

    Ah yes, but what she is doing is Art, so its ok for her to do it. <-----sarcasm
     
  20. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    As I read through the thread I kept trying to think that there perhaps there is "another side" to this discussion - but there isn't!

    This is abusive and the woman is sick. Children generally, and particularly under the age of 3, are trusting individuals - particularly toward adults to whom they look for love and protection. This abuser is taking advantage of that inherent trusting in order to enrich herself.

    She should be arrested and the kids should be taken away from any parent that would condone this!
     
  21. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There is a psychological assessment done with preschool children that involves giving the child a toy and then taking it away at the end of the session. My wife is a music therapist who sometimes works in educational settings and has had to do these kinds of assessments occasionally, and she's very reluctant to do that one, but that said, it's not so different from what it sounds like this photographer is doing.
     
  22. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Surely there must be a lawyer somewhere who will bring a class action suit for common assault -- and this IS common assault. Parents who are stupid enough to give permission for their children to be tortured are also greedy enough to change their minds when they smell money.

    Cheers,

    Roger (LL.B., don't forget!)
     
  23. Aodhán

    Aodhán Member

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    But it is o so different, does you wife deliberately create an environment that is set up to make them cry? No she doesn't she is an observer and does this in a safe environment. I also gather she comforts them after the fact and the usefull observation is done.
    And another more important thing, she does not make children cry on purpose for commercial purposes!
    If you think that's the same you'd better let your wife explain the difference...
     
  24. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Of course there is no commercial purpose with the psychological assessment, and that is a valid criticism, but from the child's point of view the experience is potentially not that different.

    The purpose of this particular test is to see how the child reacts to an upsetting experience that would be fairly common at that age. Will they be able to play cooperatively with other children, share toys, and go home at the end of the preschool day? It is usually done at the end of the assessment session, so that the result doesn't affect the other tests, and then the child is comforted by the parent, who is present during the assessment.

    As to whether the photographer provides a similarly psychologically safe and controlled environment--that's a good question. Presumably the child's parent is present at the portrait session. My point is that it's not so far off the scale.
     
  25. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    Actually, it is far off the scale. Your wife doesn't want to do it, but does because it's her job and the results of the test ultimately benefit the child in some way. This woman went out of her way to do this to many children and speaks of it proudly in the podcast interview.

    Plus the George W. Bush thing. Oh please. Be creative. She's just picking a topic that people can't disagree with, so that she seems to be doing it all for some noble reason. Total opportunist.

    She's the girl who pulled up her own dress in kindergarten to get everyone's attention. She's so starved for attention she'll make children cry. She'd be perfect as the head mistress of an orphanage.
    Ara
     
  26. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Most things in life are about "intent".

    An intent to cause discomfort for financial gain is pretty sleazy.

    We condone the torture of animals for medical knowledge but we don't condone the torture of animals for fun.


    Michael