The problem with Greeberg's work is what I see in too many photos being made today -- they are fake from the very beginning.
But that is the point of her style of shooting. She is not a documentary photogapher. Like LaChappelle, or Leibowitz she has a specific image in her head and does what needs to be done to get it. The "shining over-produced" look she employs with the crying children is exactly the style she employs in all of her recent photos.
Oh, now I get it. The message is in the titles. Silly me. I was looking for profundity in the photographs.
Originally Posted by ChrisHensel
Now that I know I'm not deep enough to comprehend such morally relevant art I'll retire to my hovel to contemplate socially irrelevant photographs of peeling paint and sand dunes.
Originally Posted by ChrisHensel
I disagree. Looking at the photos is quite enough to forge a well founded dislike for them as art on their visual merits alone. The kid on a bottle of Gerber's baby food is similarly idealized (hence the reference to commercial influences cited in Artkrush), and no more worthy of interest than that necessary to be certain the jar I'm going to open actually contains gherkins and not strained beets.
And then there's: " Overall, End Times succeeds at turning propagandistic strategies against themselves, creating incisive political commentary." for which I can only suggest a word that describes ovine fecal discharge.
"This of course (like all things artistic and visual) is a matter of opinion. Jill Greenberg has a very specific and (heretofore) acclaimed style of shooting. Critics, perhaps, are unwilling to see past her methods, or are taking a moral stance that prohibits any real commentary on the photos aside from the percieved mistreatment of the children, as if to see something of value in these photos is to condone or approve of child abuse."
Have you looked at her site? If you did and you think this then we are seeing 2 different things. While she does have a style in her commercial work that is interesting (but far from unique), her personal work looks nothing like it. Even the monkey series and this end times are completely opposite. What you consider to be "the percieved mistreatment of the children" others see it as indeed mistreatment of children, and therefore not worth of any critical comments on the actual technique of the image. For critics, to look beyond that state of emotional distress (even your Artkrush article uses that word) in a child that we know was forced and purposfully done in such a way as to bring about the most distress possible, is impossible. It is like looking at an image of a child in Africa who's arms have just been cut off and being able to comment on the quality of the print, or make critique remarks about how the photographer should have cropped it differently. For people with the ability to see the abuse in Greenbergs "work", it is almost impossible to be objective about anything else. And of course, she causes this herself by the very subject and technique of gaining that image to begin with.
The Artkrush part you quoted is basically her "artist" statement, and doesn't appear to be of any independent thinking on their part. The American Photo article and interviews on the podcast would have served you better for a point of reference. However, since they showed bad journalism when they asked Greenberg for a comment about the blog of Thomas Hawk and she told lies to questions she knew the real truth about, then cut&pasted one part of the blog, and didn't even bother to get a responce from Mr. Hawk, so even their opinion would be suspect. Personally I don't much believe in what critics or some writer might have to say, especially when they have a financial incentive to be positive, as most of these magazines do.
"The photos in conjunction with their respective captions actually do make stark political commentary. Obviously supporters of BushCo are not going to view this work favorably, nor will those who cannot see past the surface. Social and political commentary can be challenging. Interesting that there is more of an uproar over these photos then there is over the wholesale killing of children by repressive regimes world wide."
Man, you go pretty far in your extremes. First of all, had you NOT read her artist statement, or heard anything about the images, photographer, etc and seen the images, with their titles, it would be impossible to relate them to a political expression against Bush. The titles are too vague and borad for anyone to get the connection. And that is why she has had to go to such great lengths to explain it to everyone who will listen.
The ourtage over these images has NOTHING to do with how those of us criticizing it react to or question the "wholesale killing of children by repressive regimes world wide", and to say so is preposterous. However, are we to just ignore this objectionable treatment of 3 year olds at the hands of a trusted adult just because there is killing of children "by repressive regimes world wide" too? That is what you are saying. By your logic, if a relative of yours got killed in a drive by shooting (which I hope never happens to anyone) you or anyone else cannot be outraged at the death because there are people in other parts of the world who are being killed in worse ways by repressive regimes than your relative? Come on...think about what you say before saying it.
"Like LaChappelle, or Leibowitz she has a specific image in her head and does what needs to be done to get it."
Have you seen any images of LaChappelle or Leibowitz where they have purposfully forced a child of 3 years into a state of emotional distress? No. Those 2 real artists do not need cheap tricks or obscene tactics to have their work seen and appreciated. Not only is Greenbergs images obscene, they are also blatently cheap shots...a way to get attention, because "any press is good press" as her hollywood producer husband is all to aware of.
"The "shining over-produced" look she employs with the crying children is exactly the style she employs in all of her recent photos."
Not even close. you need to revisit her site and study the images, and lighting techniques, more.
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I have no problem getting to the work in spite of the methods.
The overly slick images help to make the images poignant, but this is little different than shock for the sake of shock. There is nothing here beyond knowledge that crying children, clearly or super clearly presented is disturbing. In no way can the viewer draw a line from the representation to the photographer's stated intention. I don't see a crying child and think "War is bad." If she were to use her considerable skill and technique as an integrated component of her message, I'd have no issues.
The photographer has built an unsupportable connection and has gained unbelievable exposure. Good for her, good for marketing, bad for art, and bad for those who wish to speak intelligently about the war.
I am, by any measure, as anti Bush as a human can be and stay out of jail.
Even the monkey series and this end times are completely opposite
What you consider to be "the percieved mistreatment of the children" others see it as indeed mistreatment of children, and therefore not worth of any critical comments on the actual technique of the image
I cannot defend Greenbergs methods in evoking a response from the children in these photos. I can, however, look past the methods to see her point.
For people with the ability to see the abuse in Greenbergs "work", it is almost impossible to be objective about anything else
Agreed, and this is why I think she failed.
The Artkrush part you quoted is basically her "artist" statement, and doesn't appear to be of any independent thinking on their part
This is an unfortunate use of a review, my apologies.
The titles are too vague and borad for anyone to get the connection. And that is why she has had to go to such great lengths to explain it to everyone who will listen.
Maybe not. Here in America, for the politically aware citizen (at least on the left) a photo of a crying baby with the caption Grand Old Party is not hard to decipher.
My understanding is that Greenberg intends to published these photos in a book titled End Times, complete with captions. Hard to miss the message of the photos with a title like that, including the captions. Many photographers use text to add meaning to photos, and the use of text does not take away from the power of Greenberg's work.
The ourtage over these images has NOTHING to do with how those of us criticizing it react to or question the "wholesale killing of children by repressive regimes world wide", and to say so is preposterous.
Yup, I should have left that out of my post.
Thanks for your response. Again, I am not in favor of what Greenberg did to get these photos, but certainly it is not impossible to see her point.
Just a quick note, the price listed by her gallery for these prints is pretty low, so for those of you with an honest interest in photos that will only increase in value, this is an opportunity. I'm sure you are all leaping at the chance to own one of these photos.
Not even close. you need to revisit her site and study the images, and lighting techniques, more
Again, I disagree. Greenberg has an easily identifiable style...look again.
Settle down just a tad, this is just a diversion on the internet...no one is being repressed, or killed...the kids in those photos are two years removed from the sittings and doubtless are just fine.
You can afford a hovel, the best I've been able to do is to starve in a garret. :-)
Originally Posted by c6h6o3
I cannot begin to describe the feelings I have for this woman's photographs or for her. Lets just say violence popped into my head.
I have two kids that are about the same age as her victims, that is what they are. They are not models, nor are the subjects, they are victims. Anyone who claims there is no, or just temporary, harm being done is a fool and moron. She is inflicting pain on these children. Just what is an uncomfortable position anyway? Does she need to be charged with abuse, yep, you bet. If no one else will I will file the complaint. Just point me in the right F*cking direction.
Now, If she were in Tucson I know a few guys who, since her victims are children, would not charge a dime to cause temporary "discomfort" to her. Which is what I feel needs to happen. Maybe give her a taste of her own methods, but on an adult level. Let's see what would be the traumatic equivilent, for an adult woman, to being stripped naked, put in an "uncomfortable" position and then "manipulated" until the right reaction is elicited, then get a few good snaps of it?
Now, someone said no one is looking at the images. Well I did, there is nothing redeemable about them at all. Fuck the titles they are absolutely meaningless. Some one can take a crap on a piece of paper and give it a political title. In the end it is still shit on a piece of paper. The woman is a bitch who has resorted to torture, and contrived political propoganda to fulfill an obvious sick need to harm children and get attention. There are no messages in those images. There is no underlying metaphor in an image of a traumatized child with no context. There is more meaning in the image of the palestinian girl on the beach that was on the wires last week (sorry can't find a link right now) than in all of this worthless and sick person's portfolio. This is not art, by any measure. It holds no value. Unfortunately worthless rags like the one quoted have basically given her what she wanted and she will do more. She has not made the point she set out too. In fact she basically made the point that she is just as bad, if not worse, than those she is protesting against.
Art is no excuse to purposely inflict harm on anyone. You notice that none of those children are listed as hers. I wonder if any of them are, and if they are, how social services would feel about it. And for the record, a parent cannot give permission for their child to be abused, nor are they allowed to knowlingly put their child in a harmful situation. This is nothing but exploitation.
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004