Filmmaker Lauren Greenfield Speaks at Meredith

Acclaimed documentarian Lauren Greenfield gave a Meredith College audience a guided tour through her work, from her first documentary effort through her latest, “Kids+Money,” a look at youth in Los Angeles.

Greenfield spoke at Meredith on February 17 in Jones Auditorium. Her talk was followed by a screening of “Kids+Money,” which debuted on HBO in November 2008.

“Lauren Greenfield is considered a preeminent chronicler of youth culture,” said Meredith Assistant Professor of Art Shannon Johnstone in her introduction.

Greenfield said her work “is about documenting people, looking at an issue in a cultural context … the work that excited me as a student was the work of street photographers who showed reality through the photographer’s eye [and] revealed something even in the familiar that we hadn’t seen before.”

Much of her work is built around themes such as youth culture, gender and media influence. Greenfield first gained notice for “Fast Forward,” which explored the lives of teenagers in her hometown of Los Angeles. “Kids+Money,” returns to Los Angeles to look at consumerism among the city’s youth.

“In Los Angeles, you can see the most extreme manifestation of issues that affect kids across the country,” Greenfield said.

Greenfield noted that the economic downturn that has occurred since filming ended on “Kids+Money” has changed the world and reaction to the attitudes of the kids in the film.

At the time of filming “it was okay to want to be Paris Hilton,” Greenfield said. “Then when the economy changed, the [film’s subjects] became more self-conscious.”

Greenfield’s work also includes “Girl Culture” and her film and book “Thin.” Her images can be found in “The New Yorker,” “Elle,” “Time” and “Harper’s Bazaar”. Her photographic work is in the collections of major museums, including the International Center of Photography and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Greenfield’s visit was sponsored by The Meredith College Convocation Committee, with support from the Department of Art, the General Education Program and Meredith Health Services.

Date Submitted: 2009-02-18

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