This term, the research part of my work is to ‘prepare a shot illustrated DVD presentation that investigates the core principles’ of my selected text.
So basically to create a visual essay which will be watched instead of read. I have been given five texts in which I can choose to do this project on, while reading though the texts one of them reminded me of an artist I know.
– John Tagg THE BURDEN OF REPRESENTATION (page 34)
A democracy of the image
And commodity production
They are images of ourselves, our family, our friends; portraits whose meaning and value lie in countless social exchanged and rituals which would now seem incomplete without photography. A wedding, the committal of prisoner to goal, a response to the lonely-heart advertisement, an application to a university, a sporting victory, a departure for war: all these are sealed by the making and changing of a photograph – a portrait. –
This passage leaves me wondering, are all portraits like this? A picture for a family album as this text goes on to say? A photographer that springs to mind here is Jill Greenburg.
These pictures have ‘whipped up a storm of controversy ‘ says the guardian. These photographers were made by giving the children sweets like lollypops and other candy and then taking it away from them. This action deliberately caused the tearful outburst which can be seen above.
Jill Greenberg herself insists that the candy is returned to the children within 30 seconds and so no long-term damage is caused to them.
“Nothing is more pure than the anguish of a child. Pictures of children crying capture raw emotions: sputtering rage and profound loss. In many ways we’ve become desensitized to disturbing images. But the honesty of a child’s feelings is undeniable and it draws you in to the photograph. Perhaps because kids experience the kind of powerful emotions that we, as adults, have suppressed in ourselves.
The children I photographed were not harmed in any way. And, as a mother, I am quite aware of how easily toddlers can cry. Storms of grief sweep across their features without warning; a joyful smile can dissolve into a grimace of despair. The first little boy I shot, Liam, suddenly became hysterically upset. It reminded me of the helplessness and anger i feel about our current political and social situation. It made me think of my outrage at our false reasons for going to war in Iraq and the scandalous way in which the conflict was sold to the American people. I thought George W. Bush, then just sworn into his second term in office, and decided to call the image “Four More Years.” Jill Greenberg
There is a major debate about these images and whether they are humane or not, this can be seen at