Two posts on one day, scandalous, I know. Don't get used to it.
So, I was reading the Monday's issue of the Toronto Star, and I came upon an article concerning the photo exhibition of Jonathan Hobin. The exhibition titled "In the Playroom" displays a set of photos depicting children re-enacting scenes from iconic media tragedies, which has some people up in arms because of alleged child manipulation and disrespect for the victims of the events reproduced.
The artist's message describing the intent of the photographs:
In the Playroom is a metaphor for the impossibility of a protective space safe from the invasive reach of modern media. The photographs in this series are visual echoes of iconic media imagery that has had an immeasurable effect on our culture. The deliberately staged constructions are full of arresting detail designed to underscore the infiltration of modern media into every aspect of daily life. By casting children as the central players, the artist invites viewers to imagine how children, with their limited context and experience, might perceive and interpret current events and contemporary iconography.
The first image is titled "The Twins", depicting 9/11. And the second photo is titled "Boxing Day", depicting the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004.
Okay, now. I see why some people would criticise the set of photos, but I think the message of the artist is sound. And the whole manipulation argument is just bullshit because the kids don't see what you(adults) see. It's like attacking a parent for dressing their kid and not allowing him/her to wear a Batman costume to their cousin's wedding, MANIPULATION. I think, no one has ever wondered how these tragic events influenced and affected children, who see the same images on TV, but interpret them in a completely different way. So, I applaud you Jonathan Hobin, you genius, you.
Besides, I don't like that people consider it inappropriate to tackle tragic or taboo events in art, because it might be disrespectful in some people's opinions. Freedom of expression, my friends. No matter what you do in life, or how careful you are, you will always offend someone... So, might as well just go for it.
So Jonathan Hobin gets my stamp of approval, his photos are displayed at the DALESMITHGALLERY in Ottawa until October 10. So, if you're in the area check them out.
What are your thoughts?