MUST SEE: Generation Wealth at Louisiana

During the autumn holiday we took a trip to Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. I was particularly interested in the Generation Wealth exhibition by Lauren Greenfield, who has been photographing wealthy people for 25 years. The exhibition is a selection of the photos she has taken of some of the richest 1% of people in the world and it shines a light on the excess these people live with. It was fascinating to see a picture of Kim Kardashian as a twelve year old junior high student at a party of similarly rich kids before anyone knew really who she was.

Kim Kardashian, 12, and her sister Kourtney (third from left), 13, at a school dance in Bel-Air, Los Angeles, 1992. @Lauren Greenfield Credit: This exhibition was produced and initiated by the Annenberg Space for Photography

The photos in the exhibition were carefully selected from half a million Greenfield took over those years and gives a somewhat depressing view into the lives of the excessively wealthy. Most of the subjects in the photos look pretty miserable and there is a fascinating section about how the loss of wealth impacts on these people and also the communities they live in. There is plenty to read in the exhibition so leave time to really explore it.

@Lauren Greenfield Credit: This exhibition was produced and initiated by the Annenberg Space for Photography

One thing I wish I’d done before seeing the exhibition was to have watched Greenfield’s accompanying documentary which covers the creation of the exhibition and the history of her interest in the excessively wealthy (see the trailer here). In addition it is a look at her personal journey as a photographer, film maker and anthropologist and she also revisits a number of her subjects from the original photos 20 odd years on. I watched the film the day after seeing the exhibition and I almost wanted to go straight back to look at the photos. The film is being shown at Louisiana and you can see details of timing on their website but it can be rented (for 39Dkk) on Youtube, which is what I did.

@Lauren Greenfield Credit: This exhibition was produced and initiated by the Annenberg Space for Photography

There is also an accompanying massive hard back book which I believe costs around 600dkk. It is a little steep for me but I understand why it is so expensive. However, as it is the way I roll I checked the Copenhagen Library catalogue and it is there! However there is a long wait for it, I am twelfth in line for it.

This exhibition is probably the first we’ve been to at Louisiana which has really made me want to devour all the work of the artist. Perhaps this is because I studied anthropology at University or that I have a fascination with extremely wealth people in a voyeuristic way, either way I have a number of interviews and podcasts with Greenfield lined up to listen to or watch. Her documentary about girls with anorexia called Thin is next to watch.

To see more about the exhibition, which runs until 8th March 2020, visit the Louisiana website.

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