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Wouldn't it be ironic...

  • Jun. 28th, 2006 at 3:05 PM

...if someone beat Jill Greenberg with a pipe and took pictures? Purely in the pursuit of art, of course.

And you people wonder why I'm such a snarling ray of sunshine.


scarybaldguy wrote:
Jun. 28th, 2006 10:40 pm (UTC)
Jesus H. I'm no fan of kids, but that's just fucking appalling.
kimatha wrote:
Jun. 28th, 2006 11:03 pm (UTC)
What the FUCK?

Granted, kids do cry at the drop of a hat. All you'd really have to do to get a kid to cry is give him a really cool toy and then take it away. Still, doing that - on purpose - is needlessly cruel. And the pictures are ugly.

Also, what is wrong with the parents allowing their kids to be used like this? I can't see my siblings allowing this sort of thing in a million years.
daphnep wrote:
Jun. 28th, 2006 11:04 pm (UTC)
Huh. Funny, I clicked the second link before the first, and without the set-up the first link provides, thought they were paintings, not photographs (just from looking at the thumbnails). That changes the whole perception, because I figured she'd painted them, you know, from assorted pictures people get of kids crying, naturally. Hell, you could probably get a good assortment of wailing children from any professional kids' photographer, wailing that happens just in the routine course of taking posed family photos.

It's weird to me that they are even photos, much less that they were posed that way, and very unsettling, I grant you. However, I myself have taken lollipops from children on occasion. I must be, therefore, guilty of child abuse. Where shall I sign in to be beaten with a pipe?
ernunnos wrote:
Jun. 28th, 2006 11:06 pm (UTC)
For your own amusement?
daphnep wrote:
Jun. 28th, 2006 11:22 pm (UTC)
No, but for trivial, mundane things like to make it more convenient to wrest a sticky arm through a sleeve. I could have saved her potentially damaging emotional distress, though, by letting her finish the lollipop first.

It's odd. I hate that they're photos, somehow they were more interesting to me when I thought they were paintings. But kids...well. They cry really easily, and with their whole emotional being, even when it's over something silly, like the wrong Barney song on the cassette player. I laughed at a child for that one, once. It was funny, it was Barney.

We still laugh at things that once made the girls cry. Once Liana had a dream that Fern was a hot dog, and she woke up and told Fern that. Fern was 3, the same age as the kids in the photos. She screamed and cried, tears pouring down, lower lip trembling, sobbing "I'm n-n-n-not a hotdog!" while I tried to comfort her and figure out what the hell was the problem. It wasn't even her dream, it was Liana's. The very idea broke her down. We still laugh about it today. I'm chuckling now, in fact. But I am obviously a very, very cruel person.

I don't want to defend this artist, in particular, but it does raise some questions: Is it child abuse to make your kid sit on Santa's lap when they're obviously fearful and screaming like hell? People do that, over and over again, for their own amusement, for the "art" of family photo albums.

scarybaldguy wrote:
Jun. 28th, 2006 11:44 pm (UTC)
I think the point is that Jill Greenberg deliberately torments her subjects until she gets her desired reaction from them. It's inexcusable, and I'd bet good money that most (if not all) of the kids have permanent damage from it.

Imagine being taunted and teased into rage by a giant whose purpose is completely unknowable to you. As adults, we can build defenses, but when you're three years old your worldview is damn near non-existent; shit's confusing enough without some asshole making you cry.
daphnep wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 12:04 am (UTC)
I'm still reading the comments on that page. Here's an interesting one:

"the Little boy" as is linked in the first article is my nephew. I know as a fact that he was not harmed in any way. He is an actor with Ford models and as soon as his session was up, he stopped crying and told his mom he is hungry and wants to go to Hamburger Hamlet to eat."

In response to:
Jill Greenberg deliberately torments her subjects until she gets her desired reaction from them. It's inexcusable, and I'd bet good money that most (if not all) of the kids have permanent damage from it.

By that reasoning, is every diaper commercial or movie with a crying baby in it (where the cry was solicited, not incidental) is inexcusable and probably caused permanent damage to the children? I'd be willing to answer that "perhaps", myself, actually, but I'd also wager that for all the moaning people are doing, they're not going to expand the complaint beyond this one terrible, horrible, child abusing artist.

Maybe what's so unsettling is the sheer quantity of images. En masse, it's very hard to look at, where one baby crying in a diaper commercial, we let slide....or have for years, until now, anyway.

ernunnos wrote:
Jun. 28th, 2006 11:49 pm (UTC)

Yes, I feel the same way about parents who are value their "Kodak moments" more than the kids themselves.

I hesitate to bring it up because it sounds so geeky, but it reminds me of a moral conflict in Battlestar Galactica. The premise is that humans are at war with intelligent machines. Some of the machines get captured, and tortured. The apparently female models get raped. One side says, "You can't do that, it's wrong!", the other side says "They're just toasters!"

I say, "Yeah, they're just toasters, but what does it say about you that you get so much apparent pleasure from raping a toaster?"

Ok, kids will cry. These kids might not even be seriously damaged by it. But what does it say about Jill Greenberg that she gets her jollies out of making kids cry on demand?

daphnep wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 12:07 am (UTC)
Yup. Reading the line "They're just toasters" I had exactly the same thought you put into the next sentence. So what, then, does it also say about our culture that we "torment" children for the sake of selling diapers? Or happy-go-lucky movies about inept fathers/babysitters/etc.? (See my response to scarybaldguy, above.)
ernunnos wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 12:15 am (UTC)
I'm already in favor of beating people who make commercials and cutesy movies with pipes. If they're tormenting kids, so much the better.
daphnep wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 12:37 am (UTC)
Don't forget clowns. Clowns make kids cry, too, for no purpose at all, and yet they are regularly introduced to kid's birthday parties. Sheer, sadistic torture. :)
daphnep wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 01:20 am (UTC)
Just to flog a dead horse (since that's what the internets are for, after all) I ran a search in a handful of stock photography sites...and came up with over four thousand images of young children crying. A significant percentage of those are in studio settings, all of them with signed model releases, and being sold for a fee. It appears there's huge traffic in child misery, out there.

Some photographers, it seems, even specialize in the subject. They have full pages of thumbnails on their own portfolio sites, showing how poignant and heart-wrenching children can be. Some of them even dress up the children first in lovely victorian costumes.

Seems to me that what Jill Greenberg does differently is show the snot and drool, emphasize it, even. The images look much more horrifying with childsnot intact. And without victorian ruffles, of course.
gonzolawyer wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)
I hate that they're photos, somehow they were more interesting to me when I thought they were paintings.

I agree with this. I think this is bad art primarily because they are essentially the same photograph in the same pose of different children. What if a portrait painter painted the same picture of the same person sitting in the same pose but with 100 different sets? One might be a great work of art, but the other 99 would suck. But a painter would not do that because it would be wasteful of time and resources. A photographer does not have this limitation, or has it to a substantially lesser extent.

I hate pop art. And I still haven't met anyone who likes pop art that I like (as far as I know).

I think everyone else is missing the point when talking about whether this is child abuse. This is EXACTLY what Jill Greenberg wants us to talk about - because then we feel compelled to witness crap that we otherwise would completely ignore.
kirinqueen wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 08:59 pm (UTC)
phanatic wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC)
Not to mention that she seems to be a cunt who's going after that blogger through his employer and making lawsuit threats as well.

In the face.
daphnep wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 12:48 am (UTC)
Now, that's sick.

Doesn't she realize that a little scandal over this will be the best thing that's ever happened to her career? After all, I've never heard of her, before today.
selfishgene wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 03:42 pm (UTC)
The lawsuit is part of her publicity campaign. She doesn't expect to win.
ernunnos wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 01:53 am (UTC)
You mean someone who makes their living bullying kids is a bully?
evilegg wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 01:54 am (UTC)
Those pics make sweet icons.
portia wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)
That's awesome.
evilegg wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 03:00 am (UTC)
You should make one too.
We all should!
We'd be like a GANG!
We'd be totally urban!
portia wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 03:20 am (UTC)
Cool! I'm now a gangsta!
evilegg wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 03:23 am (UTC)
I love those pics.
I wish they came in a fucking wall paper border.
A running row of a buncha crying-ass little babies feeling sorry for they-selves would keep me right the fuck cheerful all damn day.
power_c wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 05:32 am (UTC)
Only if that person with the pipe didn't kill her. Just beat her enough to make her suffer.

Then post the photos on deviantART. There's irony.
m_fallenangel wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC)
I remember from my college photojournalism class there was a photographer who took lots of pictures in Japan of children who were born with birth defects from mercury in the water supply and diet. Of course, he used the pictures to expose a serious environmental problem, not to get showings at better galleries.

For his efforts he was viciously assaulted by "representatives" of the area business community that was dumping the mercury in the first place. The beating left him with vision damage such that he couldn't focus a camera again. In these days of super-accurate auto focus that wouldn't be AS bad a payback, but I still like the symbolism in this instance.
power_c wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 04:13 pm (UTC)
There's something not right with that, and I really can't find the words for it. It sounds like that cat was trying to do something seriously moral, and possibly even start something bigger.

And of course said thrashing was delivered by representitives from the company in question. They say there's no such thing as bad press, but for every rule, there is an exception.
m_fallenangel wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 04:59 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, he was very much a crusader to get the mercury cleaned up. I wish to hell I could remember his name.

The guys who were doing the dumping wanted him stopped, pure and simple. I was surprised they didn't just kill him, since the beating couldn't have intended to have the vision effect it did.
power_c wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC)
If anything, it probably wound up working against them, anyway. They thrashed this cat who was showing people that they were doing bad things. That's an admission of guilt right there.
m_fallenangel wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 05:09 pm (UTC)
I seem to recall there was a good backlash, particularly in the international press, but it was too many years and too many beers ago to recollect firm details.
notjohndavid wrote:
Jun. 29th, 2006 02:16 pm (UTC)
I had a discussion with a fairly well known photographer (Andrea Modica) once.

She was discussing how most photographers take the same picture over and over with a different subject. One thing she tried to do was to use the same subject and take different pictures.

The way I see Jill Greenberg's work is it's the same photograph with different subjects. I'm not impressed.
isobal wrote:
Jul. 8th, 2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
It is so ironic that she states in various retorts and debates that her exhibit is about the state of the world. The only integrity in her reponses or her exhibit is that her work and her behavior is a perfect example of the "sand state of the world" and how these day, folks would do anything to make a buck. In this case slightly more since her work in this exhibition sells for $4,500. and up.



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