September 23, 2006

Toddler Politics

From Jill Greenberg's End Times. The rest can be found here.

In general, toddlers don’t give much thought to politics. In general, toddlers are kept busy enough squealing and jumping and yelling, in the manner that toddlers do, so as to assert their authority and centrality in the world. In general, toddlers don’t spend much time crying because Bush is still President of the US, or because Iraq didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction, or because one third of Americans believe in a literal interpretation of the bible.

All of which might explain why Jill Greenberg decided to express her personal political angst about US politics and the evangelical religious right by stealing lollies from toddlers, photographing their resulting distress, and giving the photographs highly charged political titles such as “Four more years” (of Bush in office ed), or “Torture” (I expect we can guessed), or “Armageddon”, or “Apocalypse”, “Faith?”.

The over all title of Greenberg’s collection is End Times. Supposedly it has both “political and personal relevance”. Well, if you think stealing lollies from toddlers to make them cry is politically relevant, then yes, I suppose you’ll get the point of Greenberg’s work. You’ll also get why she photo-shopped the photographs into the ground, so as to exaggerate every tear, every fold of skin, and in doing so she also added a saturated sheen to each shot, resulting in an oddly sexualized perspective, not dissimilar to shimmering naked women in a blokes magazine.

Greenberg and her supporters seem to think that these photographs make a political statement, and are beautiful and poignant. According to Greenberg, the images are a way to "begin a national dialogue”. Huh? About what honey, abusing toddlers for your political beliefs? Politically speaking, Greenberg believes “their pain is a precursor of what is to come.” Funny about that, I thought their pain was because some tosser stole their lolly pops and manipulated the resulting photographs.


  1. Anonymous3:28 PM

    What a bitch. I wouldn't be this cruel to an animal. If this isn't against the law it damn well should be.

  2. According to Greenberg, the images are a way to "begin a national dialogue”.

    Most bad political artists talk like that - though bad political art is an effective way of making a contraversial statement, and avoiding the usual tedious arguments, etc. Any mere error of fact or misrepresentation can be excused away, simply, as being 'artistic license' or 'hyperbole for dramatic effect'. It's essentially a lazy form of elitism.

  3. Anonymous9:42 PM

    Yeah I'm with Geoff. What a bloody self centred dumb bitch.. Completely lacking in empathy and human emotion.

    And yeah .. Caz . A right tosser I reckon..!

  4. The things people will do for the sake of art astound me. Check this link:

    I've gotta warn you though. It's graphic!

  5. Tiny URL for the link from Jessica:

    There are no pictures, it's the descriptions that are "graphic".

  6. I dunno about the sense in preaching politics to children but I can tell you that the photograph is yet another reminder for me that I am so glad that I'm not a parent.

    Good thing about that too - me breeding would be considered a crime against science and humanity :)

  7. Anonymous11:46 AM

    It's kind of like, "You kids must suffer for my art".

    Strange photos, they've been so tampered with, they're not even beautiful.

    They are also sexualised in way.

    Disturbing! Somebody steal her lolly.

  8. Just a nasty woman with a lame idea.

    She'd better never come near my kids or I'd kick her in the butt & take a photo of her crying.