thu 30/05/2024

Sally Mann: The Family and the Land, Photographers' Gallery | reviews, news & interviews

Sally Mann: The Family and the Land, Photographers' Gallery

Sally Mann: The Family and the Land, Photographers' Gallery

The American photographer's remarkable images beguile, haunt and disturb

'At Warm Springs' from Mann's controversial series Immediate Familycredit: Sally Mann; courtesy: Gagosian Gallery
Last week I watched a tiny tot being photographed by her father, on a beach in southern Turkey. There was no girlish giggling or splashing about in the sea; rather than a show of carefree happiness, she delivered a studied pose. She assumed an expression of supreme indifference and, with hand on hip and weight on one leg, twisted her body into a seductive coil. The four-year-old was imitating a supermodel! I didn’t see the pictures, of course, but I would still classify this kind of premature sexualisation as child pornography.
Last week I watched a tiny tot being photographed by her father, on a beach in southern Turkey. There was no girlish giggling or splashing about in the sea; rather than a show of carefree happiness, she delivered a studied pose. She assumed an expression of supreme indifference and, with hand on hip and weight on one leg, twisted her body into a seductive coil. The four-year-old was imitating a supermodel! I didn’t see the pictures, of course, but I would still classify this kind of premature sexualisation as child pornography.

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