Thursday, August 10, 2017
GENERATION WEALTH AT THE ANNENBERG SPACE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
This week's arts and culture column is a reflection on the idolization of celebrity and bling.
Here's how it begins:
Here’s an exhibit that will make you want to go home, take a shower and give thanks for your humble existence: “Generation Wealth” at the Annenberg Center for Photography.
“Generation Wealth” (subtitled “A Visual History of the Growing Obsession with Wealth That Has Come to Define a Generation”) spans 2 1/2 decades of the work of photographer, documentarian and urban anthropologist Lauren Greenfield. The exhibit ends Aug. 13, but you can peruse Greenfield’s interviews, commentary and selected photos at your leisure by visiting the exhibit’s website.
Greenfield grew up in Venice “before it was gentrified.” Her mother, a professor, did cross-cultural fieldwork in Mayan Indian villages. But Greenfield, fresh out of Harvard with a degree in visual anthropology, began to realize that L.A.’s culture of wealth, status and bling — vis-à-vis the “American Dream” — deserved its own study.
She began to train her lens on rich high school kids: the $60,000 bar mitzvahs, the girls who received nose jobs as graduation gifts.
She made a documentary, “Thin” (2006), about young women with eating disorders. She also made the shorts “kids + money” (2008) and “Beauty CULTure” (2011).
“Generation Wealth,” a multimedia project, is divided into nine sections, including “Bling Dynasty/New Oligarchy,” “The Legacy of Gordon Gekko” and “Sexual Capital/New Aging.”
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.