Retelling childish stories

Jonathan Hobin is an Ottawa based photographer who’s work examines important cultural and historical figures and events. Adding nuance to his photographs he reinterprets these events using both children as models and childish set ups to present the particulars in each case. This combination is a powerful mix providing an opening for re-examination of often inappropriate (I use this term with some irony) adult conduct.

What I find most fascinating is the seriousness of the events that he chooses to re-enact in his work. From the death of Princess Diana to images of torture the presence of children assuming the roles of victim and perpetrator for myself raises questions of how much exactly the adults involved in these incidents really qualified as mature grown ups. I often ask myself would these events have happened has there been an actual, functional, mature adult in the room rather then what often seems like kids playing lets pretend? I worry a lot that the answer would still have been yes.

I remember a study that came out a while ago that showed that the prevalence of psychopathic tendencies in senior executives of Fortune 500 companies was greater (up to 4 times) that of the average population. I’ve started to wonder both given the revolving door between government and these companies how true this figure would hold up for those in government as well?  These darkly drawn relationships between childish acts and adult actions makes the work of Mr. Hobin an interesting point of reflection in what at times seems like an increasingly crazy world.

To see more of Jonathan Hobin’s work you can visit his website at:

Below is an interview that Mr. Hobin gave to CNN in 2010.