Inappropriate photos in art gallery seized by police.

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posted on May, 28 2008 @ 11:25 AM
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One of the main reasons this is controversial is that it is photography; if it were a painting the identification with a specific person is diffused and the subtext of voyeurism and exploitation greatly diffused. It's the particularity of the image that is most offensive to some, methinks.

It reminds me also that ideas of what is pornographic are relative and wax and wane over time; the nudes in Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling and Last Judgment in the Vatican were later painted over with judiciously placed drapery to hide their sexual organs--and countless male nude statues have had their privates hacked off and fig leafs appended in the name of modesty. Many figures have been restored to return them to their original states, as have most of Michelangelo's figures. So this is all a question of perspective.

Also, AG Ashcroft was more recently mocked for misplaced prudery when he ordered drapery to clothe the nude statues in the rotonda of his offices.

Finally, it recalls Andy Warhol's definition of art: "Art is a man's name."




posted on May, 28 2008 @ 11:28 AM
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To any of you who consider it art, what's artistic about it? What is the meaning behind the picture? Freedom of expression??? What's the picture expressing?

Peace



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by Dr Love
To any of you who consider it art, what's artistic about it? What is the meaning behind the picture? Freedom of expression??? What's the picture expressing?

Peace


Innocence?

Just playing devil's advocate here.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 11:33 AM
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Originally posted by pieman
so what is art and what is not? all those paintings of venus and cupid, essentially a woman and a child in an explicitly sexual depiction (venus and cupid had an incestuous affair), google "venus cupid" for an overview of the huge quantity of paintings on this subject, are they art or are they child pornography, and if they are art, is it because of the medium rather than the subject?


just to clarify...for my part. There is a HUGE difference - in my opinion - between a "painting" of a fictitous person(s) and a photograph of a real person. Yes, much in "art" shows nudity and sometimes graphic genitalia, especially in sculptures. And while I am not always happy to see a giant **** staring at me in a statue,
it is a different medium, and is totally the vision and responsibility of the artist, as opposed to a photographer and a live person as subject involves more than just the artist.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 11:36 AM
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As I don’t see the photos I'll have to make an assumption that the artist didn't take coerced pornographic photos of these girls and that they did it with their parents consent?(how do we know the age?) So it was actually photographic art and may be the intension was to invoke intelligent thought/comments of mature adults or even maturing non-adults? I think this was just a nanny-state censorship that we come to expect from controlling government.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by TrailGator
it is a different medium, and is totally the vision and responsibility of the artist, as opposed to a photographer and a live person as subject involves more than just the artist.


where does that leave a painting that uses a live model in your opinion? also, does this mean that non-nude photographs of children or containing children should not be considered art? there are many things i regret from my childhood, nudity isn't one of them, if a photograph is taken of a child fully clothed, which they later feel embarrassed by, does this invalidate the artistic merits of the photograph?


dr. love
To any of you who consider it art, what's artistic about it? What is the meaning behind the picture?


could be the transition from childhood to adulthood, a traumatic time in most peoples lives, not least because of their changing body. artistic expression of a universal experience is pretty common.

[edit on 28-5-2008 by pieman]



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 12:00 PM
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This is a very confusing thing we have.

The artist, who made a career of photographs along this vein thought it was art.
The kids who posed thought it was art.
The gallery who sells art thought it was art.



Even if you don't know his work, his signature look - particularly his taste in vulnerable adolescents shot in ominous settings at night - is probably familiar: it has even been appropriated by Chopper director Andrew Dominik in a Levi's commercial for their "born again" 501s.


Does this mean we have to arrest Andrew Dominik?



Bill Henson's sexualised images of adolescents repel some viewers, but critics are unanimous in hailing his vision, writes Gina McColl.

Critics love to say that Henson, Australia's most celebrated and collected photographer, divides opinion: you either love him or hate him. But he doesn't divide the critics. Henson has been a favourite for 10 years - since he represented Australia at the Venice Biennale, the premier international contemporary art event, in 1995.



Putting him perspective she writes:



More recently, critics have been quick to reject such criticism as righteous indignation and superficiality. Henson himself has called it hype and borrowed indignation. In part, this is because graphic depictions of sexuality, and often perverse sexuality, are commonplace in contemporary art. In Britain, the winner of last year's Turner Prize was a transvestite potter who makes neo-Classical vases decorated with tableaux of kinky sex and child abuse. Makes Henson seem tame.


Source

[edit on 28-5-2008 by garyo1954]



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 12:00 PM
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As long as it wasn't in a sexual manner, what is the problem? Nakedness is nakedness, it doesn't matter what age you are.

But this is probably what the photograher wanted, it is getting his name out there and giving him publicity.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 12:04 PM
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Having seen one of the pictures in question, I consider it art and not pornography of any type. It's really no different than certain art books that can be found on the shelves in most Barnes & Nobles or Borders.
No big deal...



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 12:27 PM
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I really need to know what the parental status is of these kids. Was there a parent present when these pictures were taken?

Honestly, regardless of any artistic value, if that was my daughter, this guy could measure the rest of his existence with an egg timer........NO JOKE!

Peace



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 12:49 PM
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From news items relating to the controversy, parents not only were present but consented to nude shots of their children.


Kerryn, whose daughter Lizzie posed, although not nude, for Henson as a 12-year-old, said it was his "prurient" critics who were damaging the young models, not Henson.

The teenagers she knew who had posed for him had grown into accomplished, well-adjusted adults, she said.



A MELBOURNE mother who arranged for her pre-teen children to be photographed naked said she believed there was nothing pornographic or indecent about his work.



Emma De Clario, 36, a Melbourne artist and actor, yesterday said she had agreed to allow her 10-year-old daughter and six-year-old son to sit naked for Henson, though it had not been able to proceed.



Model mum Kerryn said she had been present at each of the shoots.

Her daughter, now 19, had eagerly attended the sessions between the ages of 12-15.


Source

He has obviously been taking these photo's for some time and we've yet to hear of weirdos and sad cases getting off over these pictures on the internet.

I am still at a loss as to why, this time, it's caused a stir.

Having not seen his work, except from some scenery images from links in this thread, perhaps he is getting more leery in his work.

However I just found this link where one of the 13 year old former models wants no part in any investigations.

Girl identified in Bill Henson photograph snubs police

To be honest, I think this is just a case of overreaction on the part of the pollies, the police involved and especially the PM.

Having said that, I do agree with you Dr love. A small egg timer..
But then Im sure nor you or I would ever agree for our children to pose nude.


mod edit:
[removed quote of entire previous post]

Mod Edit: Quoting – Please Review This Link.



[edit on 29-5-2008 by sanctum]



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 01:31 PM
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Well, as a mother of a girl, I would NEVER consent for another person to take photographs of her nude - as a child/teenager. No way. If she wants to do it as an adult, more power to her.

I actually don't have issues with nudity, as I see the human body (male and female) as beautiful and amazing.


Where is the line drawn though? Many people say "they are not in sexual positions", "they are not sexual photographs", "they are not erotic", "they are just standing there". Really? By whose standards are they just innocent photographs? Yours? Mine? Pedophiles? Society's?

Because honestly, if those were ADULTS, I would find the photos a little bit erotic in a way - because I DO see the artistic quality about them. But then I am brought to reality - those are kids - not adults.

But again, where do we draw the line? Is this photographer right up against the line? Or will you 'OK' him to go a little further? And how much further? Can he simulate sex between them - because, in my opinion, sex between 2 people can be absolutely beautiful and even artistic if painted, photographed, etc.

Where is the line when it comes to children and nudity?

When it comes to children, we must ALWAYS have their best interest in mind - not OURS....when we are dealing with them.


[edit on 28-5-2008 by greeneyedleo]



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 01:40 PM
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reply to post by bloodcircle
 


Wow, those mothers make Patsy Ramsey look like Mother Teresa.

Which raises another question, were those 12 and 13 y/o girls begging to strip down for this guy and the parents just gave in, or what? Did the parents decide for the child? The logic, or lack thereof, defies me.

Peace



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 02:34 PM
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reply to post by greeneyedleo
 





Is this photographer right up against the line? Or will you 'OK' him to go a little further? And how much further? Can he simulate sex between them - because, in my opinion, sex between 2 people can be absolutely beautiful and even artistic if painted, photographed, etc.


My deity!! Why are you even asking these questions? Henson doesn't ask if he can go further than this... and if you or anyone else don't know where to draw the line, if you don't know how far one could go in such a case as this, then you my friend have bigger problems than Henson. The fact that this ART was taken down indeed proves that especially the commisioner has a problem knowing where the line is...

In fact Henson seems to be the only who knows where it is. And he stuck to it with honors.

Another thing is, who are you to judge what other parents allow or don't allow their kids to do? You have NO business what so ever... NO!

I think that the parents of the kids who were portrayed made a admirable choice. They allowed themselves to seperate from societys sick need to dominate the single persons and their views down to something as benign as art.
Last time we could see something like this was when the church tried to subdue comedy. It's appalling, and puts mankind back in a state of being nothing more than a horde mindnumb zealots, who frown at anything that makes them feel and questions their way of life.

Last and not least... the taking down of these images says sooo much more about the people who were "affected" by them, the commisioner in particular, than it does about the images or Henson... I think you know what I mean.
I takes a sick sick sick mind to turn those images into erotisism or porn, into something to be affraid of. I think you should be more affraid of yourselves....

SHAME ON YOU!

[edit on 28/5/08 by flice]



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 02:56 PM
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Originally posted by flice
I think that the parents of the kids who were portrayed made a admirable choice.


So making the choice for your prepubescent child to take nude photographs in the name of "art" is an admirable thing?

Just want to make sure I'm understanding you correctly.


Peace



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by flice
reply to post by greeneyedleo
 





Is this photographer right up against the line? Or will you 'OK' him to go a little further? And how much further? Can he simulate sex between them - because, in my opinion, sex between 2 people can be absolutely beautiful and even artistic if painted, photographed, etc.


My deity!! Why are you even asking these questions? Henson doesn't ask if he can go further than this... and if you or anyone else don't know where to draw the line, if you don't know how far one could go in such a case as this, then you my friend have bigger problems than Henson. The fact that this ART was taken down indeed proves that especially the commisioner has a problem knowing where the line is...

In fact Henson seems to be the only who knows where it is. And he stuck to it with honors.

Another thing is, who are you to judge what other parents allow or don't allow their kids to do? You have NO business what so ever... NO!

I think that the parents of the kids who were portrayed made a admirable choice. They allowed themselves to seperate from societys sick need to dominate the single persons and their views down to something as benign as art.
Last time we could see something like this was when the church tried to subdue comedy. It's appalling, and puts mankind back in a state of being nothing more than a horde mindnumb zealots, who frown at anything that makes them feel and questions their way of life.

Last and not least... the taking down of these images says sooo much more about the people who were "affected" by them, the commisioner in particular, than it does about the images or Henson... I think you know what I mean.
I takes a sick sick sick mind to turn those images into erotisism or porn, into something to be affraid of. I think you should be more affraid of yourselves....

SHAME ON YOU!

[edit on 28/5/08 by flice]


a predictable response if there ever was one. Thats right....no one sets morality...how dare society as a whole decide whats right and wrong.

But where do YOU - yes, flice, YOU.... decide when its too far? or is it EVER too far - and there IS a too far somewhere within you, though you wish to get all indignent and call us all prudes... cause when it gets there (too far for you, that is) let us know so that we may be able to determine by what criteria YOU made that "line"



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by flice
 



My deity!! Why are you even asking these questions? Henson doesn't ask if he can go further than this... and if you or anyone else don't know where to draw the line, if you don't know how far one could go in such a case as this, then you my friend have bigger problems than Henson. The fact that this ART was taken down indeed proves that especially the commisioner has a problem knowing where the line is... In fact Henson seems to be the only who knows where it is. And he stuck to it with honors.


I know very well, where the line should be. But people like you, clearly do not. Or really, it seems everyone has a different opinion of where the line should be. Thus the question is asked by moral adults (parents) such as me who have the interest of CHILDREN in mind first and foremost.



Another thing is, who are you to judge what other parents allow or don't allow their kids to do? You have NO business what so ever... NO!


Im sorry Flice, but what? Who am I to VOICE MY OPINION on a subject of CHILDREN, me being a mother? Hmmmmmmmmm. And who are YOU to tell me what I can and can NOT voice my opinion on? Are you a member of the Taliban, by chance?

Also, whose business is it? MINE, as the art was put on display for the public. I am the public. Therefore, I have every right to discuss my OPINION on the matter at hand.



I think that the parents of the kids who were portrayed made a admirable choice. They allowed themselves to seperate from societys sick need to dominate the single persons and their views down to something as benign as art.
Last time we could see something like this was when the church tried to subdue comedy. It's appalling, and puts mankind back in a state of being nothing more than a horde mindnumb zealots, who frown at anything that makes them feel and questions their way of life.


Hmmm. If you had read my response and not had such a knee jerk reaction that your rights to see naked children might be taken away….then you would see that I am the LAST person who views nudity as a bad thing. I, in fact said that I view the human body as beautiful and amazing…and even went as far as to say that I think viewing sex between 2 people can actually be created in an artistic way. I also said that the “artist” is creating art because again, I find the human body beautiful and erotic in some ways. The sole issue is the use of CHILDREN – actual children.



Last and not least... the taking down of these images says sooo much more about the people who were "affected" by them, the commisioner in particular, than it does about the images or Henson... I think you know what I mean.
I takes a sick sick sick mind to turn those images into erotisism or porn, into something to be affraid of. I think you should be more affraid of yourselves.... SHAME ON YOU!


And last but not least…..the taking down of these photos ACTUALLY shows that the people were CONCERNED for the CHILDREN being photographed naked. THANK GOD. Someone needs to be. I seriously doubt, if this had been photos of adults, there would be any fuss at all. We are talking about CHILDREN.

It takes a sick sick mind to NOT see that children are innocent beings and are vulnerable to manipulation by adults – including their own parents. And we should at ALL costs fight to keep them innocent and protect them from those who prey on their innocence. Just because a parent allows it, does not make it okay. What if the child didn’t want to do it? But the parents said "I want it done"?

The fact that you desire to have children subjected to this in order to fulfill whatever fantasy you or others may have……….well, SHAME ON YOU.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by Dr Love
reply to post by bloodcircle
 


Wow, those mothers make Patsy Ramsey look like Mother Teresa.

Which raises another question, were those 12 and 13 y/o girls begging to strip down for this guy and the parents just gave in, or what? Did the parents decide for the child? The logic, or lack thereof, defies me.

Peace




I wondered that myself, as I can imagine the thought of being a model, in the minds of young girls, as an alluring idea, and we have all seen how some parents can push their daughters into an adult world far too early, chasing fame and money.

But I don't know anymore than the news items suggest and what the photographers basic history is.. Certainly can't judge the situation about these families without knowing more, which I doubt we will.

-- on a side note, it's rather ironic that as I type this, I'm also watching USA Today (We get the US version a day late, in the mornings), where they've just had an item about Teenagers in School being given contraceptives and should they even be having sex, and it is followed by an item on the Sex in the City movie...




posted on May, 28 2008 @ 03:52 PM
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I have seen the pictures and have been involved in a discussion about this elsewhere. The photographer meets people and asks if their daughter would like to be involved in his next project. The parent and child talk about it and decide. Many kids who are involved in the art world see the artistic value and are honored to be the subject of this photographer.

Would I let my daughter do it? If she wanted to, absolutely. I'm not saying everyone should, but I see nothing at all wrong with it.

Art is in the eye of the beholder, but "child porn" is defined. And these pictures are NOT porn. Pornography is explicit depiction of sexual subject matter. There's nothing sexual about the pictures.

Several Galleries are still showing them. It's only in Australia that they've been removed. I suggest that if someone thinks these pictures are sexually explicit, they should check their own context. Nakedness does NOT equal sexual.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 04:05 PM
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Originally posted by grover
It entirely depends on the relationship between the subject and the artist... is it a parent who is depicting their children or is it more voyeristic?


You are completely wrong about this.

This has nothing to do with the relationship between the subject and the artist. A custodian of a minor child does not have the right to pimp out the child to an "artist" for the purpose of having nude photos taken, nor does a minor child have the legal capacity to offer his or her consent.

Further, the adults involved in creating a for-profit product using nude photos of minor children could most likely be found guilty of child abuse. There is absolutely no law that grants a person the unmitigated right to cause a child to disrobe and pose for photographs.





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