Somewhere in this discussion, I copied the following quote, "Again, one can never tell what future generations will have to say about what is created today." Sorry, I don't remember who posted it (mind's too muddled this late in the workday.)
To that comment I have to say I can only hope and pray future generations haven't been so f***ed up by their parents they can't recognize shallow self indulgent horse manure when they see it.
Many photographers have been vilified (or at least strongly criticized) for their technique or subject matter when their work was first shown, only to be considered among photography's best upon the passage of time. I have shown Larry Clark's Tulsa to people (especially photographers) and gotten a very strong negative reaction. Tulsa is considered a classic work and an original edition of the book sells for lots and lots of money. I am having a tough time coming up with any shooters who have been lambasted to the extent that Ms Greenberg has, so who knows? Perhaps this exhibit will torpedo her career.
I think what I object to in both Greenberg's and Larry Clark's work is that they both appear to use others - either extremely young children or very young people - to work out and express their own conflicts and emotions, rather than acting 'in service' of those children or young people, to explore something telling about the subjects themselves.
Originally Posted by ChrisHensel
I respect a photographer more when she or he can look into her own 'dark heart', and can give something of themselves, rather than taking from others, especially others as vulnerable as the subjects of both Greenberg and Clark (although on one level it could be argued that Clark involved himself and so exposed his vulnerabilities more than Greenberg did)
As for what gets attention/ money/ fame in the future, well, I'm personally too cynical to pay over-much attention to that....
rather than taking from others, especially others as vulnerable as the subjects of both Greenberg and Clark (although on one level it could be argued that Clark involved himself and so exposed his vulnerabilities more than Greenberg did)
Setting Ms Greenberg and her squalling kiddies aside for the moment: Photographers that seek to explore humanity in all of its' scope must see things that others do not, and photograph what others will not. The charge of exploitation can be leveled at anyone that photographs people.
I came across this quote on the net re: Jill Greenberg, but it is true of any photographer that seeks to explore people:
Exploitation lies at the root of every interaction between a photographer and a human subject, and every photographer worth a damn knows this. It is unavoidable, it is intrinsic to the very act taking pictures, and the most sophisticated photographers work their understanding of it into their practice, in various subtle ways. I've watched dozens of them at work, and each has a different method: Some bond with their subjects, some boss them around, some flirt and seduce, some ignore, some distract, and some just watch. But with the best of them you can see something in their eyes, and in their work, that proves their trustworthiness and creates a kind of complicity. Jill Greenberg is decidedly not one of the best, but her clumsiness inadvertently reveals a fundamental truth: Taking a picture is a deep and ethically complex thing to do, and everyone who engages in it is compromised, right from the start
I agree with this to a large extent. Avedon, examining the photographs he made of his dying father (and Avedon was soundly ripped by many for these photos) was not certain as to why he made the images, that perhaps he was honoring his father, or that perhaps he was killing him (shooting him). In the end (says Avedon) no harm as done and great photography was the result.
Some photographers strive to make pretty pictures, and some photographers use the medium to explore evry aspect of the world around us. There are lots of pretty pictures.
Of course all photographers on one level 'use' their subjects. But the choice is not a stark and simplistic one between "exploitation" and "pretty pictures".
Originally Posted by ChrisHensel
I do agree that taking pictures of people, probably on any level, is not ethically straightforward.
That does not mean we lay aside our capacity for judgement and say 'therefore, everything is permissable'...
In defense of Larry (he's a close friend of my only other film-shooting buddy), he was photographing the only world he really knew; it would have been utterly false for him to photograph anything less gritty than he did, considering who he was at the time. It is also very true that Larry did not cause the suffering of those kids, as is the case in Ms. Greenberg's work.
There are a number of photographers whose work depicts worlds that we (hopefully) will never have to enter, but who promote social change with their efforts. Mary Ellen Mark and Dorthea Lange readily come to mind.
“While photographs may not lie, liars may photograph. It becomes necessary then to see to it that the camera we depend on contracts no bad habits.”
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In defense of Larry (he's a close friend of my only other film-shooting buddy), he was photographing the only world he really knew;
Just to be clear, I think Tulsa is brilliant. No need to defend him here.
At the risk of appearing facetious I'd suggest that this is deep self-indulgent horse manure...
Originally Posted by Lee Shively
Originally Posted by StephenS
Some reactions are getting over the top. Watching Fox news would have you thinking everyone passed on the street is either a terrorist, a child molester, or both. Rational people realize the world is not that simple. Or that horrible. Some are making this woman a monster because of a few photos on a website; yet none of us here know the entire story behind them. (This is not an an endorsement of the work, either.)
Argue the art, or lack thereof. But to suggest this woman should be arrested or go to jail is too much. It also is exactly what's wanted by creating these images - a big knee-jerk reaction to draw attention to her business.
Just to get this thread back to right track, that is get it out of common sense
Originally Posted by gr82bart
In one forum few years ago, photographer posted photograph of some children playing in town park. Half joke and half seriously I posted question like "How could you do thet aren't you afraid to be arrested as paedophile for photographing children, especially not yours children"
Now answer was: "Well, I live in Norwey and we are still normal people" he wanted to say that there people will not fall in hysteria and immediately take someone as paedophile just for photographing children playing in city park...
Well, Hollywood is full of teenage films in which main subject is sex, even if it is never shown beeing under tough eye if censors. What I find extremely stupid in those films (beside content of those films) is that teenage characters (that is characters which should be from 12 to 18 years of age)are played by actors/actresses which are in theire 20eth or early 30ies years of life. In Europe if movie character has for example 13 years in movie, it would likely be played by 13 years old (or close to) actor/actress. Even if role including nudity. Maybe because we in Europe are used to see in movies or other art forms nudity or other human behaving of all age characters, we don't have such harsh (or I would say hypocritical) reactions on "controversial" movies or other artistic expressions like people in USA...
Originally Posted by Stargazer
Originally Posted by ChrisHensel
And to be clear: people who have been complaining most vociferously about Greenberg on the web have been zealously exploiting this hoo-hah to draw web hits to their own sites, using the cheapest sorts of demagoguery, particularly in demonizing anyone with differing opinions, and lots of hand-wrung declarations about the "importance" of their own assertions.