Entitled: Greystone Mansion Through Yelp Reviews

The Impetus

Excessive wealth excites me. It excites all of us.

It’s that feeling when you finally save up enough money to buy a plane ticket, cover the cost of the hotel, and eat exactly how Travel & Leisure said you should. Actually, more specifically, it’s that feeling when you board the plane and find yourself walking past the rest group of seats that have already been filled, to find your own. It’s that feeling when you choose an Uber to the hotel instead of an Uber X. It’s that feeling when the hotel host walks you to your room, conveniently located past the ‘presidential suite.’

This book is a photographic exploration of entitlement and wealth in the digital era. 

The Result

In looking through over 250 reviews of Greystone Mansion, I included only 20 of the most baffling, intriguing, or unhelpful reviews. I have uncovered reviews that contradict other accounts of the same site, reviews that prove to be more true than the reviewer even intended, and reviews that were so beautiful that their words do more than my photographs. You’ll find my favorites down below and the rest of the reviews and images in the Full PDF.

Conclusion

Through the creation of this book, I have come to believe that technology and art (either in the form of word or image) are the ultimate enablers of entitlement. Now more than ever, we live in a landscape in which we feel that we have some intrinsic right to have our opinion heard, to be listened to. In Edward Doheny’s time, money talked. You had to earn the right to be heard.

But what about today? Who are we to judge and evaluate people and places that don’t belong to us? What gives us the right to shape collective perception our world?

Craftsmanship

The book was printed with the Epson Stylus Pro 4900 Inkjet printer on exorbitantly expensive 1″x 17″ Hahnemühle Paper, sliced in half landscape-ways, and then coptic stitched together with white thread.

Process

Over the course of 7 or 8 weeks in the Spring of 2017, I visited Greystone Mansion a little under 10 times. While roaming the premises, I observed and photographed things about the site that caught my attention. I captured hundreds of moments and compositions that collectively created a portrait of this historic mansion and its premises.

I then edited the photos and then paired them with some of the selected yelp reviews. I compiled all of the content in InDesign and created a compelling layout to fit the content. After test printing and assembling a small scale version of the book, I printed the final scale pages of the book and stitched it all together.


Let me know what you think of this project in the comments and find other projects here!

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