Annenberg Space For Photography
I recently went to see the Lauren Greenfield exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography. It was a really interesting look at social class through retrospective.
This exhibit was meant to explore our obsession with wealth and celebrity. I always knew this was a real thing, but it shocked me how seriously some people take their desire to be rich and famous. A lot of the photographs were of people who’d be classified as ‘new money.’ Their lack of class was absolutely repulsive to me. They literally looked like garbage.
I’ve never been more repulsed by money or people who have it. Her photographs really moved something in me.
It seemed like the more money one has, the less class they get to keep. Or that one replaces the other. Their big houses were gawdy and tacky, missing any modicum of art or prestige.
The retrospective also addressed what happened when these same people lost everything. It was amazing to see how quickly people adjust to money, especially women who marry rich. They immediately become adjusted to being super wealthy. Yet as soon as something happens and they lose the money, it’s impossible for them to recover. It’s almost like Flowers for Algernon.
Money In Russia
One of the sections of the Annenberg Space that really stuck out to me was the one with the photographs of crazy rich Russians. It made me think about my own thoughts on money and wealth, and how it’s different from others’ due to my upbringing.
Money was so volatile after the collapse of the Soviet Union that its ‘societal’ meaning and value became very low. It was almost funny to see something that means so much go up and down so quickly. We had a lot of money during this time, and it ended up being the reason we had to leave. Overtime, money began to lose its’ meaning and value for me.
Some people in Russia saw it the other way, ‘now is our chance to have a lot more.’
I never put a lot of emphasis on money, and I think it was because of how quickly I realized it can lose its value, and become worthless. It just didn’t make sense to strive endlessly for something that may one day mean absolutely nothing. I understood wealth was fleeting, and it was better to spend my time and energy on a more worthy goal.
The retrospective runs through August 13, please check it out if you are in town!