Thomas Czarnecki’s “From Enchantment to Down”

Firstly, let me apologize!  It has been way too long since I updated this blog.  My life has been pretty crazy with a new job and another move, but I’m going to try to jump back on this horse.

I’ve been wanting to return to the Beanstalk for quite some time, but Thomas Czarnecki’s photo shoot (called “From Enchantment to Down”) of murdered Disney princesses is actually a large part of what spurred me to action; I had to rant about it.

Czarnecki's Little Mermaid lays dead on a beach.

As many of you likely know by now, I’m usually a big fan of macabre fairy tales.  Unfortunately, I’m just not feeling this particular project.  Czarnecki claims that his goal here is to juxtapose “the naive universe and the innocence of the fairy tales” with the “much darker reality that is as much part of our common culture,” presumably as a result of violent media.  However, this goal betrays a deep misunderstanding of fairy tales and their roots.

In the above  image from Czarnecki’s photo series, the Little Mermaid is dead.  My question, here, is “how is that original?”  Hans Christian Andersen, who first wrote the story, also ended “The Little Mermaid” with the heroine’s demise.  As I have mentioned before, nearly all of the fairy tales we know and love today had violent beginnings.  If this photographer had done even the barest amount of research, he would’ve known that.

If Czarnecki wants to tackle Disney’s censorship of fairy tales for modern children, that’s fine.  It just peeves me, as a fairy tale enthusiast, that he incorrectly lumps all fairy tales together as “naive” and “innocent.”

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 365princess
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 12:30:33

    I have to agree with you. Czarneki’s photoshoot doesn’t strike me as having much meaning to the fairytales themselves. And if you look back at the darker origins of fairy tales, there is a LOT of ‘shocking’ material that could be used here. The only ‘princess’ thing about these photos is the girls are wearing similar outfits that, thanks to Disney, we identify with specific princesses. It bugs me that these photos could be of ANY girl, with ANY dress thrown up sexually, and I would perceive them the same. They’re bland, not visually intriguing, and I feel the photographer only went on the ‘princess’ theme to get attention for work that most people would just shrug at and skip over.

    Reply

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