I admit it: Greenberg’s End Times series of photographs bothers me. Not just because the children in these photos are clearly emoting for real, but because the manner in which these emotions were elicited could be considered exploitative, similar to some of the accusations against Jacques Doillon with regards to his young actress in the film Ponette. I’m also a bit irritated by the fact that beautiful nudes of children are considered abusive by many people despite the feelings of the children participating in them, and yet these images, in which children were made to cry for the sake of Greenberg’s art, hardly stirs them. This is a clear-cut example of the skewed priorities of the West. I feel that Greenberg may frequently get a pass on this because of her feminist credentials.
And yet, in the end I cannot deny that her work is powerful, which is, after all, what the best art is about, and it’s certainly well-executed. There can be no doubt either that it falls in the ‘dark art’ category, and so here it is.
Jill Greenberg Studio (Official Site)