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The Littlest Despot
March 18, 2010 12:44 PM   Subscribe

Potency: a photo series of a baby dressed up as evil historical dictators by Nina Maria Kleivan.
posted by gman (67 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
You know who else took offensive pictures of babies?

Anne Geddes.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:46 PM on March 18, 2010 [47 favorites]


Baby pictures are inherently offensive. Ask anyone who has ever been stuck looking at them for way too long. No need to dress them up.
posted by dortmunder at 12:47 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


AWWWWW! LOOKIT THE CUTE WIDDLE BAY..... whoa.
posted by zarq at 12:52 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you keep clicking the "next" button really fast, the baby does some sweet dance moves.
posted by iconomy at 12:52 PM on March 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


Alternate title: Halloween in Orange County
posted by brain_drain at 12:54 PM on March 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


where are the pictures of the baby dressed up as benign historic dictators?
posted by toodleydoodley at 12:54 PM on March 18, 2010


"Even my daughter could end up ruling Denmark with an iron fist. The possibility is still there. You never know."

We can all dream.
posted by charred husk at 12:55 PM on March 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


It's pretty rare that Idi Amin makes me chuckle.
posted by padraigin at 12:56 PM on March 18, 2010


I think I would have found it more satisfying if it had instead been a collection of evil historical dictators dressed up as babies.

It's the only thing that gets me off anymore. I'm so jaded.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 12:58 PM on March 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


I love that it's a female baby dressed up as male dictators. BREAKIN' BARRIERS, PEOPLE!
posted by grubi at 12:59 PM on March 18, 2010


Little Hitler, what you doin'
Is the passion inflamed again, again
Little Hitler, where you goin'
Is it go go night again tonight
Ever searchin' for the action
But the action don't want to know
I said all along you're a tough one

Little Hitler, what's the matter now
Can't you settle for the center of attention
Little Hitler, now I'm serious
Let me guess why you knocked me
Off your guest list
As the world turns
Atthe edge of night
And the seed is shot and sown
l'll make a Little Hitler of my own

When the goin' gets tough
The tough get goin'
Every now and then
l can see 'em runnin', runnin'
You can talk with them
You can be shot with them
But you'll get no change
Only shootin' at 'em long range
See you someday soon
Selfish pleasure, yeah
With the one I Iove
Now you're not alone...yeah
With the one I Iove
Little Hitler of my own
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:00 PM on March 18, 2010


Man, those pictures are going to be tough to explain away on that first job interview. Unless "My mom likes to juxtapose." is now a credible justification.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:01 PM on March 18, 2010


This is low hanging fruit if you ask me. Also, it might just be the scans, but these seem lazily and poorly shot.
posted by HumanComplex at 1:03 PM on March 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is low hanging fruit if you ask me.

That's what Eve said.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:09 PM on March 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


Here is my daughter being evil.

See Also:

NEIN!

Separated at birth

Rejected Candy Flavor: Smoked Gouda

Rejected Cover of U2's "War"

Rejected Diaper Rash Remedy: Vapo Rub

PREVED!
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:09 PM on March 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


damnit, beat the the Geddes joke right out of the gate.
posted by GuyZero at 1:09 PM on March 18, 2010


Ga ga, goo goo d'état
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 1:10 PM on March 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pacify the masses.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:12 PM on March 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


is it wrong that I think those are fantastically cute and hilarious?
…oh and horribly horribly wrong

"awww wook at the widdle baby Mao"
posted by ShawnString at 1:13 PM on March 18, 2010


I want to know where I can get some Dictator Jr outfits, and if there are matching cat outfits. I like the idea of The Axis of Evil cats romping around my livingroom.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:13 PM on March 18, 2010


What no Handsome Dick?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 1:17 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I actually sort of like these. People show me baby photos all the time, but babies are only interesting to their own parents. To everybody else, they're just babies. There's nothing precious about their poop, or the way they laugh, or their weirdly shaped bald heads. The look and act like babies, and why would I want to see a photo of that?

I always said if I had a baby, I wouldn't bother with regular baby pictures. When people showed their photos, I'd show some of my own, and people would be like, um, what is your baby doing in that photo?

Fighting a bear.

But now that I think about it, whipping out a photo of my baby dressed as Hitler would be pretty hilarious too.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:19 PM on March 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


If you keep clicking the "next" button really fast, the baby does some sweet dance moves.

Kinda like this?
posted by schwa at 1:21 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


No Kim Jong Il?
No Margaret Thatcher?
posted by sour cream at 1:23 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Proving the real reason we have children is to amuse ourselves.
posted by Edward L at 1:24 PM on March 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Idi Biddi Amin
posted by hamida2242 at 1:26 PM on March 18, 2010 [8 favorites]


Proving the real reason we have children is to amuse ourselves.

By. By amusing ourselves.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:27 PM on March 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


Proving the real reason we don't have children is by abusing ourselves.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:30 PM on March 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Followed swiftly by j'accusing ourselves.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:35 PM on March 18, 2010


I should point out that I drew on my daughter with WASHABLE marker.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:35 PM on March 18, 2010


Is this the thread where it's OK to talk about how adorable the real Hitler was as a baby?
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 1:40 PM on March 18, 2010


Baby Slobodan is adorable.
posted by elder18 at 1:41 PM on March 18, 2010


Looking at a real picture of baby Hitler, however, is pretty creepy.
posted by elder18 at 1:42 PM on March 18, 2010


Any baby could grow up to be a dictator.
Any baby could grow up to be a watered down caricature of a dictator.
posted by munchingzombie at 1:47 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I should point out that I drew on my daughter with WASHABLE marker.

But did you sing "Helter Skelter" as a lullaby instead of "Twinkle Twinkle"? :)
posted by zarq at 1:49 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Baby Slobodan is adorable.

Ahhhh so that's who that well-dressed little gentleman is supposed to be. Was trying to figure that out.
posted by nathancaswell at 1:52 PM on March 18, 2010


Ahhhh so that's who that well-dressed little gentleman is supposed to be. Was trying to figure that out.

I assumed it was George W. Bush, and was disappointed.
posted by padraigin at 2:02 PM on March 18, 2010


Ahhhh so that's who that well-dressed little gentleman is supposed to be. Was trying to figure that out.

You can hover over the pics for the description. I admit it, I had to look up several of them. *Hangs uneducated head in shame*
posted by widdershins at 2:05 PM on March 18, 2010


I don't much care for the little babies. Don't much care for them at all. My wife and I watched the excellent and informative documentary Grace just last night.

Trust me: you don't want nothing to do with that shit.
posted by metagnathous at 2:15 PM on March 18, 2010


Is this the thread where it's OK to talk about how adorable the real Hitler was as a baby?

If by "adorable" you mean "possessed of a creepy-ass thousand-mile stare", then, um, sure.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:18 PM on March 18, 2010


A quote from the artist, emphasis mine:
"You need to be conscious that your actions have consequences that impact on your fellow human beings. The people I let my daughter portray didn't give a damn about the human cost, the casualties, their thoughts caused," Kleivan says.
"The people I let my daughter portray"? The artist isn't letting her infant dress up to portray these people. The tiny baby has no agency here, and it's odd to phrase it this way, particularly in a remark that stresses the importance of taking responsibility for one's own choices and actions.

The idea is striking and potentially terrifically effective as an artistic or social work, and also of course potentially an extraordinarily offensive and upsetting project. (This is not an insult or a dismissal of the idea; very often, great art is extraordinarily offensive and upsetting.) But the pictures themselves strike me as fairly unremarkable: not especially effective as artworks or social statements; I don't find them offensive, just silly. I just want to point out the incongruity of Nina Maria Kleivan's choice of words when making a statement about personal responsibility.
posted by Elsa at 2:24 PM on March 18, 2010


Pretentious artist make pretentious artist's statement about unremarkable and inconsequential photos. Not really surprising she sounds like a prat doing it.

I think the subject matter is trite and the photos are poorly executed.

Eh, I yawned.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:33 PM on March 18, 2010


Anne Geddes Really Starting to Lose It
posted by Durhey at 2:37 PM on March 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


See also: Anne Geddes starting to lose it.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:38 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


D'oh!
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:38 PM on March 18, 2010


Previous innocence/evil juxtaposition.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:42 PM on March 18, 2010


Children - yours to nurture and protect exploit.
posted by Cranberry at 2:46 PM on March 18, 2010


Has he eliminated all the juice?
posted by stinkycheese at 2:47 PM on March 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ahhhh so that's who that well-dressed little gentleman is supposed to be. Was trying to figure that out.

Churchill?
posted by kirkaracha at 2:56 PM on March 18, 2010


i) All babies look like Winston Churchill
ii) The Baby Joe Stalin outfit? I'd wear that, and not just for fancy dress.
posted by tigrefacile at 3:22 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


well i'm feeling pretty cheated my mom didn't take any baby pictures of me dressed as pinochet.
posted by Hammond Rye at 3:43 PM on March 18, 2010


When pressed by her daughter in about 13 years, "it seemed like a good idea at the time" will be the likely answer.

Periodically, these pictures are going to circulate around whatever school this poor girl attends. I feel for her.
posted by Danf at 3:46 PM on March 18, 2010


It's pretty rare that Idi Amin makes me chuckle.

Then you mustn't have watched this most excellent documentary.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:59 PM on March 18, 2010


"The people I let my daughter portray" might be an unconscious mistake/slip of the tongue, if she was interviewed in English and if her first language of Norwegian/Danish does the same thing that German does, where "I let her do X" and I made her/had her do X" could be the same verb, "X machen lassen"
posted by runincircles at 4:06 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's pretty rare that Idi Amin makes me chuckle.

The Idi Amin song, ft John Bird

Special bonus: The Aytollah Song ft Pamela Stevenson
posted by Sparx at 4:47 PM on March 18, 2010


Is the real baby Hitler wearing a baby wig?
posted by odayoday at 4:52 PM on March 18, 2010


Idi Amin's a little light, wouldn't you say?
posted by bwg at 4:58 PM on March 18, 2010


...in more ways than one.
posted by gman at 5:01 PM on March 18, 2010


Brings home wrong boyfriend: out come the pictures.... Mom, don't you dare!!!
posted by warbaby at 5:04 PM on March 18, 2010


Interestingly, it's apparently reasonably OK to dress your baby as a sadistic dictator for art's sake, but you'd probably be arrested if you dressed it like a prostitute.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:09 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have the same problem here as I do with breakfast cereal. Yes, the Mummy, Dracula, ghosts, and any other childhood monsters are scary. But once you take out babies or breakfast foods you make them a lot less scarier.

Hilter Flakes!
posted by cjorgensen at 6:22 PM on March 18, 2010


Before: Portraits of Current World Leaders as children by Amey Fearon Mathews: Castro, Putin, Kim Jong Il, Saddam, and others equally innocent.
posted by cenoxo at 8:52 PM on March 18, 2010


The aim is to illustrate just one thing: We all begin life the same. We all have every opportunity ahead of us. To do good, or inexplicable evil.

So is this some kind of round about anti-abortion message? Sorry, I'm not buying the premise of using innocent babies to make this kind of representation. I think this post needs a "WTF" tag.

(And for some reason, now I can't get that notorious "AIDS is a Mass Murderer" commercial out of my mind. Ugh.)
posted by fuse theorem at 9:59 PM on March 18, 2010


Pretentious commenter makes pretentious comment sharing unremarkable and inconsequential opinion. Not really surprising he sounds like a prat doing it.

I think the subject matter is trite and the comment was poorly executed.

Eh, I yawned.
posted by robcorr at 5:03 AM on March 19, 2010


I'm confused. Where are the Weimaraners?
posted by Ella Fynoe at 5:24 AM on March 19, 2010


Pretentious commenter makes pretentious comment sharing unremarkable and inconsequential opinion. Not really surprising he sounds like a prat doing it.

I think the subject matter is trite and the comment was poorly executed.


Just for clarification, who is the "he" and the comment being referred to here?
posted by fuse theorem at 6:47 AM on March 19, 2010


he
posted by robcorr at 4:51 PM on March 19, 2010


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