Saturday, January 15, 2005


... are great.

End of post.

Seriously, I had a chance to contribute in a small way to the local aspect of a photo exhibit at the Minnesota Center for Photography. Lauren Greenfield, the photographer, assembled a series of 58 images (in sumptous Cibachrome) of girls of various ages in play, socialization and work. With an emphasis on glamour, fashion and exhibitionism, the show was kind of sad. The older girls were professionals: models, strippers, dancers. The younger ones were usually shown in sort of a proto-bimbo state. The exceptions to this were a few girls with weight disorders. The saddest picture of all was a shot of three girls at a weight-loss camp. They weren’t overweight. In a side gallery were several pictures actually shot by local girls. They were everything the big show wasn’t. Girls having fun, laughing, drinking. The versimilitude of these images was a marked contrast to the “lipstick, powder and paint’ of the others. The idea of a girl culture is nebulous at best. The “girls”, when you can find the real thing, ARE great. The “Culture” is a whole ’nother thing. When girls design their own clothes, write their own stories, produce their own music, movies and television, then the idea of girl culture will be a reality. It is already happening, and with the recent advances in communication techniques (internet publishing, low-cost audio and video) the revolution will soon be here.

The day of a teen-age, female Orson Welles or Jane Austen is just around the corner.

I can hardly wait.

By Professor Batty


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not yet seen the show (opened today). I can say that in a way I dread it. Diane Arbus made some wonderful in your face portraits of some of the urban downtrodden, and so too did Brassai, and another guy who's name slips... and Shelby Adams made some haunting and awesome portraits of the "Holler Folk" of the Appalacians. Anyway my point is that there are some exceptionally well done examples of this sort of document making. The sad part is that this has heralded a herd of wannabe's who point their camera at the fringes of society and think that they are creating some kind of revelation. Often they are not. It just feels weird to look at.

I will see this show, and I am really looking forward to the "amature" shots made by girls themselves.

Speaking of shows at MCP, did you see the recent Blacklock show? Beautiful prints, beautiful photographs. The finest homage to Weston I have ever seen.

Blogger miracle & madman said...

my friend sparkles and i just had a discussion today on very much the same topic, and we both agree very much with what you've said here.
it's nice every once in a while to read one's own opinion summed up so nicely by somebody else. thank you.

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