But is it Art? part 1.

Sydney Police Shutdown Exhibition

Australian police have shutdown a photographic exhibition that includes images of naked children amid complaints that the pictures breach child pornography laws, a spokeswoman said Friday

CRIMINAL investigations into Bill Henson have widened to include previous work by the controversial photographer, after police received complaints about several Henson works on display at a regional gallery

We’re questioning what is art and what is pornography? Bill Henson is an established photographer, one of the “Foremost Artists of Australia” and now the subject of a criminal investigation of indecency and child pornography.  I have linked the story that has a photo of one of the pictures in question because I don’t want to be labeled a pornographer, too! 

When did nudity in and of itself become pornography? How many nudes hang in The Louvre? The Met? The National Gallery? Which of the great masters do not have a classic nude that most anyone would at least recognize on sight? Da Vinci, Rubens, Cezanne, Manet, Monet, Michelangelo, Titian.  What makes theirs art and not porn?

 How many of our parents do not have that humiliating nude photo that they LOVED to show to our dates and company?  Generally these pictures involved a bathtub or a some odd little rug.  My mother has one of me and more than once i’ve ooo’ed and “ohhh! you can see his little thing!” when a boyfriend’s mother has whipped out THAT picture to show me.  Seriously. Why isn’t that child pornography?

Anne Geddes. She has naked children in her photos. Naked babies, in fact.  Why isn’t her stuff pornography? If just because we have a naked picture, then BAM! Pornography!, then shouldn’t her stuff be removed from public view?  How many bathrooms in America are decorated with this Child Pornography?  Bathrooms of good church going people.  In highschool, we went to my paster’s house for ..something. There was an Anne Geddes potty. 

I love Anne Geddes, actually.  Several years ago, I wanted a whole themed bathroom, too. I didn’t refrain because of the pornography angle, though.   It was more so because I was a single girl in my late twenties dating a lot and I didn’t want to terrify the men who might use my restroom with a VISUAL CONFIRMATION of “Longing For A Baby.”   No matter that I could have said “Look, Dude. I don’t even want a baby. The shit is just CUTE!” That was actually how I felt. I knew, though, that it wouldn’t matter. He would think “mantrap” because of my “explicit images of forbidden desires”….OH! Hey! PORNO! Guess I DID refrain from it cuz of the porno angle, after all, huh?


Are Henson’s photographs actually bad and exploiting children and dirty and WRONG?  Or are we simply worried that “OH MY GOD “SOMEONE” MIGHT SEE AND FIND THEM SEXUALLY AROUSING?”   Kind of like my random shoe above this paragraph; only truthfully, i’m more *hopeful* of a random retifist’s arousal than “worried”.  Are his photos actually harming anyone or are we willing to censor art because a few people might be inappropriately aroused by the portrayal of the subject? It’s sad that there are sick and wrong people in this world that find sexual gratification in things that have no place in a healthy person’s menu of desires. However, the vast majority do not. I believe that most people would simply see it as an artistic expression.  If Hansen’s photos are condemned as indecent and pornographic, who will the “decency police” next target?   


~ by Layla on May 28, 2008.

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