Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow | Exhibitions | Lauren Greenfield - Generation Wealth

MULTIMEDIA ART MUSEUM, MOSCOW
MUSEUM "MOSCOW HOUSE OF PHOTOGRAPHY"
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Lauren Greenfield
Generation Wealth

© Lauren Greenfield. Mijanou, 18, who was voted Best Physique at Beverly Hills High School, skips class to go to the beach with friends on the annual Senior Beach Day, Santa Monica, California, 1993. <br />
Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE © Lauren Greenfield. Xue Qiwen, 43, in her Shanghai apartment decorated with Versace furniture, her favorite brand, 2005. In 1994 Xue started an industrial cable company and has since run four more. She is a member of three golf clubs, each costing about $100,000 to join. <br />
Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE © Lauren Greenfield. Secret Moneii, 28, a stripper at Magic City who made nearly $20,000 during her first week at the club, Atlanta, 2015. Before coming to Magic City, the single mother of two was working two jobs and struggling.<br />

Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE © Lauren Greenfield. Pageant winner and Toddlers and Tiaras star Eden Wood, 6, Los Angeles, 2011. Soon after this photo, Eden retired from beauty pageants to focus on expanding her brand with a record album, an Eden look-alike doll, and her own reality TV show, Eden’s World.<br />

Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE © Lauren Greenfield. 
Ilona at home with her daughter, Michelle, 4, Moscow, 2012.
Ilona’s sweater was produced for her in a custom color by her friend Andrey Artyomov, Walk of Shame fashion line founder.<br />
Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE © Lauren Greenfield. Jackie and friends with Versace handbags at a private opening at the Versace store, Beverly Hills, California, 2007. <br />
Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE © Lauren Greenfield.  Jackie, 45, in front of Seagull Island, her current house, Windermere, Florida, 2011. David Siegel paid cash for the house but later mortgaged it to capitalize his time-share company.<br />

Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE © Lauren Greenfield. Former hedge-fund manager Florian Homm, 55, Frankfurt, 2014. Homm was on the FBI's Most Wanted list, accused of defrauding investors of $200 million in a stock manipulation scheme. Arrested in Italy in 2013, he was released from prison on a technicality after fifteen months. He sought asylum in his native Germany and now embraces a life of religious devotion.<br />

Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE © Lauren Greenfield. Slot machines at New York New York Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, 2008. Since 1999, non-gaming revenue on the Vegas Strip exceeds gambling profits, with mega-nightclubs becoming star attractions in the new Vegas.
<br />
Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE

© Lauren Greenfield. Mijanou, 18, who was voted Best Physique at Beverly Hills High School, skips class to go to the beach with friends on the annual Senior Beach Day, Santa Monica, California, 1993.
Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE

© Lauren Greenfield. Xue Qiwen, 43, in her Shanghai apartment decorated with Versace furniture, her favorite brand, 2005. In 1994 Xue started an industrial cable company and has since run four more. She is a member of three golf clubs, each costing about $100,000 to join.
Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE

© Lauren Greenfield. Secret Moneii, 28, a stripper at Magic City who made nearly $20,000 during her first week at the club, Atlanta, 2015. Before coming to Magic City, the single mother of two was working two jobs and struggling.
Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE

© Lauren Greenfield. Pageant winner and Toddlers and Tiaras star Eden Wood, 6, Los Angeles, 2011. Soon after this photo, Eden retired from beauty pageants to focus on expanding her brand with a record album, an Eden look-alike doll, and her own reality TV show, Eden’s World.
Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE

© Lauren Greenfield. Ilona at home with her daughter, Michelle, 4, Moscow, 2012. Ilona’s sweater was produced for her in a custom color by her friend Andrey Artyomov, Walk of Shame fashion line founder.
Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE

© Lauren Greenfield. Jackie and friends with Versace handbags at a private opening at the Versace store, Beverly Hills, California, 2007.
Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE

© Lauren Greenfield. Jackie, 45, in front of Seagull Island, her current house, Windermere, Florida, 2011. David Siegel paid cash for the house but later mortgaged it to capitalize his time-share company.
Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE

© Lauren Greenfield. Former hedge-fund manager Florian Homm, 55, Frankfurt, 2014. Homm was on the FBI's Most Wanted list, accused of defrauding investors of $200 million in a stock manipulation scheme. Arrested in Italy in 2013, he was released from prison on a technicality after fifteen months. He sought asylum in his native Germany and now embraces a life of religious devotion.
Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE

© Lauren Greenfield. Slot machines at New York New York Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, 2008. Since 1999, non-gaming revenue on the Vegas Strip exceeds gambling profits, with mega-nightclubs becoming star attractions in the new Vegas.
Credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE

Moscow, 27.04—9.07.2021

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As part of the XII Moscow International Biennale ‘Fashion and Style in Photography – 2021’
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As part of the XII Moscow International Biennale ‘Fashion and Style in Photography – 2021’

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Lauren Greenfield
Generation Wealth

Project presented by Evergreen Studio

Exhibition was produced by and debuted at Annenberg Space for Photography

Strategic Partner of the Museum: Mastercard

As part of the ‘Fashion and Style in Photography 2021’ festival, the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow presents the ‘Generation Wealth’ project by renowned American documentary photographer and director Lauren Greenfield. Our museum has twice hosted exhibitions of her work: for the ‘Photobiennale 2000’ festival (‘Fast Forward: Growing Up in the Shadow of Hollywood’, 1997) and the ‘Photobiennale 2004’ (‘Girl Culture’, 2002).

‘Generation Wealth’ brings to fruition a far-reaching twenty-five year inquiry, including more than 200 photographs, several documentary films and numerous interviews. Travelling across the world, from the USA to Russia and China, Lauren Greenfield has witnessed the transformation of our concept of happiness and examined the ideals, stereotypes, mechanisms and cultural codes of the modern consumer society.

‘The main theme of the “Generation Wealth” project is our increasing aspiration for wealth, which is at the same time becoming a more and more unrealistic goal for many,’ explains Lauren Greenfield. ‘I examined the shift away from traditional virtues — modesty, thrift, social responsibility — towards a culture that admires bling and self-indulgence.’

Today success is determined not so much by wealth as by a demonstration of its symbols, and by popularity based, in turn, on the very fact of fame. As Lauren Greenfield observes, ‘The American Dream once meant that through hard work each of us had an equal opportunity to do well. Now that dream has metastasized into unattainable fantasy.’ Keeping up with the Joneses has become “Keeping up with the Kardashians”. And if you don’t have money, as the rapper Future explains, the strategy is to “fake it till you make it”, even if you go broke trying.’

The desire to create an ideal ‘self-image’ turns into a universal obligation, and for this reason the cult of celebrities became one of the main themes of this project. In the global information society, TV reality shows and the Internet create the illusion of intimacy with a different, ‘privileged’ world — you can look inside the kitchen or bedroom of a star, you can ‘like’ them on Instagram, or even pretend to be a star yourself. The boundary between ‘being’ and ‘appearing’ has become increasingly less visible. We stop identifying ourselves or others through real achievements and actions, replacing them with the external attributes of social status.

‘Although this journey has sometimes felt like witnessing the decline of Western civilisation,’ says Lauren Greenfield, ‘there are glimpses of hope in the knowledge gained along the way: in fugitive financier Florian Homm’s discovery of the meaning of life after losing everything; in the peace the spendthrift Kathy finds living by the sea, even though she had to become homeless to experience it; and in the real social change enacted by Iceland’s citizens after they had the largest banking collapse in economic history. Even time-share mogul David Siegel, who tried to build the biggest house in America, admits at the end of my film “The Queen of Versailles” that he regretted pursuing his grand ambitions through frantic borrowing, calling it ‘a vicious cycle’. Implicating himself and us, he adds, “No one is without guilt”.’

Lauren Greenfield is not a detached observer or a scientist looking in from the outside and coldly contemplating the life dramas of her subjects. Trying to understand how the desire to possess turns into addiction and why the pursuit of wealth and success ultimately fails to bring satisfaction and happiness, in the ‘Generation Wealth’ documentary the artist also turns the camera on herself to explore the reasons for her personal obsession with the subject matter.

Lauren Greenfield was born in 1966 in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Los Angeles. She earned her BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University in 1987. Her work has been collected by many cultural institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago, Colby College Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian, the International Center of Photography, Smith College Museum, the Center for Creative Photography, and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. Her works have also appeared in publications such as The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, The Guardian, The Times, Le Monde, New York Magazine, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.

Lauren Greenfield has authored the bestselling monographs ‘Fast Forward’ (1997), ‘Girl Culture’ (2002), ‘Thin’ (2006) and ‘Generation Wealth’ (2017). Greenfield is also author and director of four full-length documentary films including the Emmy-nominated ‘Thin’ (2006), the award-winning ‘The Queen of Versailles’ (2012), ‘Generation Wealth’ (2018) and ‘The Kingmaker’ (2019), as well as five documentary shorts.

‘Generation Wealth’ is co-curated by Lauren Greenfield and her long-time collaborator Trudy Wilner Stack. The Moscow version of the exhibition was prepared with the curator Anna Zaitseva. The project was produced by Frank Evers and is a presentation of Evergreen Studio. The Evergreen Pictures production company worked on video materials. The exhibition was also produced by and debuted at the Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles in May 2017. It has since travelled to the International Center for Photography, New York (2017), Kyotographie Festival, Kyoto (2018), Nobel Peace Center, Oslo (2018), Fotomuseum, The Hague (2018-19), Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2019), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen (2019-20) and Fotografiska Museum, Stockholm (2020).

Project presented by

Evergreen Studio

Exhibition was produced by and debuted at the

Annenberg Space for Photography

Strategic partner

MasterCard

General radio partner

Серебряный дождь

Strategic information partner

ELLE

Profile media partner

The Art Newspaper Russia

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