In The Playroom by Jonathan Hobin
Sometimes art is offensive and loud. It can make you feel a host of emotions. I usually don’t look to the genre of child photography to be moved towards any sort of conclusion other than “aww, that kid with food on his face is cute.” That changes with the most recent photo essay by Jonathan Hobin titled “In the Playroom.”
“In the Playroom” is a series of photographs centered around children playing together. Sounds benign, right? Well, not when the kids are playing 9/11 and Abu Ghraib. Each photograph features a child or group of children dressed in costume and posing in various different situations of horror. The Natalie Holloway case, the Jim Jones mass-murder and hurricane Katrina all make an appearance.
What I get out of Hobin’s “In the Playroom” is a questioning of what children are growing up with. Kids used to play Cops and Robbers and now they play 9/11. Present day youth views so many atrocities through the news media as well as cinema. I guess the real question posed by these photographs is, what are they going to be playing in the future.