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Lauren Greenfield’s “Generation Wealth”

Lauren Greenfield, Adam, 13, and go-go dancer at bar mitzvah party at the Whisky a Go Go nightclub in West Hollywood, 1992, ink-jet print, 14 × 20".

THE CATALOGUE PUBLISHED on the occasion of the photographer and documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield’s show “Generation Wealth,” which opened this past month at New York’s International Center of Photography, is a hefty doorstop of a thing, running to 504 pages and about seven pounds. With its cover a dull gold, as if to simulate burnished bullion, this brick-like book’s arm-straining audacity feels like both a come-on and an encumbrance: Its dazzlingly tactile materiality attracts while its sheer weight burdens. This duality also lies at the heart of the show the catalogue accompanies. The pull of consumer culture, Greenfield’s far-ranging project suggests, proves nearly impossible to resist, despite the many oppressions it calls forth.

Growing up in Los Angeles in the 1970s and ’80s—where she attended Santa Monica’s boho-wealthy Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences—Greenfield

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