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Author Topic: Bill Henson exhibition closed down by Police  (Read 23912 times)
mcfoto
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« on: May 23, 2008, 11:01:52 PM »
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Hi
This just happened in Sydney Australia & depending on the outcome this could affect photographers in Australia. Bill Henson is one of Australias best Art Photographers & is internationally known. He is represented by one of the best galleries in Sydney & Australia for that matter.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/arts/henson-fin...1183097197.html
http://www.bostonherald.com/news/internati...095915&srvc=rss
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/05/24/2254455.htm

I see this story very similar to what happened to Jock Sturges in 1990 & the charges were dropped.

http://www.thefileroom.org/html/213.html



Denis
« Last Edit: May 23, 2008, 11:29:57 PM by mcfoto » Logged

Denis Montalbetti
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Murray Fredericks
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2008, 11:21:12 PM »
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Hi
This just happened in Sydney Australia & depending on the outcome this could affect photographers in Australia. Bill Henson is one of Australias best Art Photographers & is internationally known. He is represented by one of the best galleries in Sydney & Australia for that matter.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/arts/henson-fin...1183097197.html

Denis
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Denis,

was just about to post this myself...

Also, this subject matter of his has been the same for 20 years or more. 3 years ago he had a major retrospective  at the Art Gallery of NSW, same/similar material and not 1 complaint.

It's as if the goal posts have been moved on him..

Murray
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mcfoto
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2008, 12:06:09 AM »
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Denis,

was just about to post this myself...

Also, this subject matter of his has been the same for 20 years or more. 3 years ago he had a major retrospective  at the Art Gallery of NSW, same/similar material and not 1 complaint.

It's as if the goal posts have been moved on him..

Murray
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Hi Murray
According to this poll which is not completed, I think the goal posts have been moved.  Even the Prime Minister described the works as "revolting" and devoid of artistic merit. That is coming from the leader of Australia. This years, Sydney fashion week banned models under the age of 16 & even cancelled the booking of a young Polish model that is a major international success. I remember when Brook Shields ( age 14 ) was on the cover & inside fashion spread for American Vogue (1980) shot by Richard Avedon.

[a href=\"http://www.smh.com.au/polls/national/results.html]http://www.smh.com.au/polls/national/results.html[/url]
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Business/2008...ng_models/3656/
Denis
« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 01:05:30 AM by mcfoto » Logged

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Murray Fredericks
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2008, 12:14:31 AM »
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Here's a good bit of analysis by Australia's best Art Critic:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/arts/its-a-triu...1183097200.html

It's a 'victim' syndrome, it sells news papers and attempts to somehow shift 'responsibility' for such a complex issue onto an artist producing great work...

Murray
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Murray Fredericks
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2008, 12:26:23 AM »
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AND,

as with all attempts to ban films(Ken Park), books (Henry Miller), TV series (Underbelly), it makes often 'niche' work mainstream providing a publicity bonanza that results in the work being viewed by millions.

As the mass media martyrs Bill Henson his work becomes more valuable and his place in art history
 more prominent.

Murray
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mcfoto
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2008, 12:53:33 AM »
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AND,

as with all attempts to ban films(Ken Park), books (Henry Miller), TV series (Underbelly), it makes often 'niche' work mainstream providing a publicity bonanza that results in the work being viewed by millions.

As the mass media martyrs Bill Henson his work becomes more valuable and his place in art history
 more prominent.

Murray
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=197667\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi
That is true & the value of his work will increase. However the real issue here is the effect on photographers & photographs in Australia. If Bill Henson is charged, then what?HuhHuh This is a highly charged subject. There are already issues of photography at parks & beaches by some councils in Australia. This being to protect children. Eugene Smith took that great photograph "walk into paradise" of the boy & girl. Are we as a society going to arrest & charge a photographer for taking a photograph like that today. From talking to fellow professional photographers in Australia there is that fear now. This case has even greater implications.............

Denis
« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 12:54:12 AM by mcfoto » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2008, 01:05:53 AM »
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That is true & the value of his work will increase. However the real issue here is the effect on photographers & photographs in Australia.


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=197669\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Absolutely, the issue has much wider implications to photographers and to society/culture as a whole...it's also a reflection of complex attitudes out there right now...

I was just pointing out the irony...

Murray
« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 01:07:58 AM by Murray Fredericks » Logged

Dustbak
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2008, 02:06:23 AM »
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It is in the news over here as well. Most photographers I know find it way exaggerated and a reaction stemming from false and hypocrytic decency.

"The photographs of naked children comprised about a third of the exhibition. Most of the shots were taken from the waist up, though the genitals of the female model are visible in one image."

Waist up, so most were bare chested (the ones that showed nudity). What is the harm in that, since when is the human body something revolting?

"Whatever the artistic view of the merits of that sort of stuff - frankly, I don't think there are any - just allow kids to be kids."

Excuse me? My kids love being naked and free, to play around without any thoughts about perversity like some adults apparently seem to have. I agree kids should be allowed to be kids and not be confronted with how the minds of some adults work.

It seems that within the foreseeable future photography of children in general will be totally forbidden in some places.

We also had another issue over here where a couple of paintings showing the appearance of breasts were banned from exposition because a couple of community members expressed the human/female nudity was insulting to them.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 02:17:02 AM by Dustbak » Logged
Murray Fredericks
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2008, 02:19:54 AM »
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These attitudes are already flowing into other restrictions....

At many child care centres now in Sydney, we are not able to photograph our children (that's everyone, nothing to do with being professional). The no photograph policy means no photos of my kids singing in their first play, xmas performances etc...

False decency - that's what it is..who does that protect?

Murray
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Dustbak
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2008, 02:29:37 AM »
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I don't know what it will protect but I do know that it hurts many. Over here you can still photograph children though at the price of feeling like a criminal. I photograph my children at school events. Most people know I work as a photographer for a living so I get a bit more acceptance but still you feel like you are being watched as if you are a pervert. That is... until they see the results and most people want a print.

Like everybody else I am extremely vigilant against child abuse but the way we are acting now in most 'civilised' countries to protect children is ridiculous, pointless and doesn't protect anything. The only thing that happens is it adds to the aggravation, suspicion towards people that have no harmful intent and leaves us with bad tastes in our mouths instead of joyful memories.

Not sure what we can do about this attitude but it is for sure that we all should do something to try to turn this tide.
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marc gerritsen
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2008, 02:45:14 AM »
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Having lived both in the US and Australia, but raised in Europe
I can really see the that the Anglo society at large has a strange way dealing with
nakedness; in the narrow mind, nakedness equates to sex and therefor
one has to cover up. As the anglo societies are getting more and more conservative
I see that they regress to more and more victorian attitudes.
Child pornography is titilations and I cannot imagine that anybody that is interested in it
would walk into the Oxley gallery and get off on pictures of sincere looking adolescents, while they easily could stay at home surfing the net for that garbage.
I deplore what I see is happening in this case and hope BH will get through this unscathed.
m*
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rethmeier
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2008, 06:24:48 AM »
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I've been following the subject and apparently the law says,if the image was made with artistic
purposes in mind,no prosecution can be made.

Yes, I do believe our western society thrives on hypocrisy.

However, I don't have any children or 12 year old daughters for that matter.

I did see Bills show a couple of years ago and similar images were exhibited.


N.B Imagine the value of those images that were taken away?

Willem.
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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2008, 06:45:42 AM »
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It's a sad day for artists everywhere. These minions of morality make me sick to my stomach. They should take their warped sense of decency and crawl back to the dark ages where they belong.
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froesner
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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2008, 08:17:56 AM »
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It's a sad day for artists everywhere. These minions of morality make me sick to my stomach. They should take their warped sense of decency and crawl back to the dark ages where they belong.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=197694\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Giving simple and one-dimensional answers to questions in a complex world is something people have used at all times to get the support of those who feel mistreated.

If you look at what is happening from an elevated standpoint, one can discover this happening not only where a majority of people is extremely poor and thus has no access to education - but also in the so-called developed countries.

The first victims are free press and the arts
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Leonardo Barreto
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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2008, 12:07:01 PM »
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Yes, yes, I have not seen more than one image, but on the other side. Why do we need to have under age girls posing naked in the first place. The artist knows that it is not the same to show a portrait of a child with a shirt on as opposed to on the nude, so lets not pretend that there is no difference at all.

I see my 6 year old son naked all the time but don't want to take photos of him and blow them for a gallery show, would you do that with your 14 year old daughters as photographers?
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2008, 12:22:27 PM »
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Yes, yes, I have not seen more than one image, but on the other side. Why do we need to have under age girls posing naked in the first place. The artist knows that it is not the same to show a portrait of a child with a shirt on as opposed to on the nude, so lets not pretend that there is no difference at all.

I see my 6 year old son naked all the time but don't want to take photos of him and blow them for a gallery show, would you do that with your 14 year old daughters as photographers?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=197732\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

with this logic we would  have to  close most of our history art museums and churches here in europe immediately.  great times.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 12:22:49 PM by csp » Logged
Dustbak
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« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2008, 12:34:07 PM »
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Yes, yes, I have not seen more than one image, but on the other side. Why do we need to have under age girls posing naked in the first place. The artist knows that it is not the same to show a portrait of a child with a shirt on as opposed to on the nude, so lets not pretend that there is no difference at all.

I see my 6 year old son naked all the time but don't want to take photos of him and blow them for a gallery show, would you do that with your 14 year old daughters as photographers?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=197732\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Extremely short sighted vision IMO. Maybe I would not do that, maybe you wouldn't but it doesn't make everybody else that would criminals immediately now would it?

I know people that do photograph their daughter nude from the waist-up. Are they criminals immediately?

Sure there is a difference showing people (children as well) nude (which definition appears to be extremely flexible as well) or clothed (or even in different clothes), what is your point? You can only photograph it when you are ignorant enough not to know the difference?

As someone said, with that kind of mindset we would have a lot less art in the world and not only in Europe. I remember having seen quite a number of Chinese (and other oriental) art drawings with children in much more nude settings than those currently being discussed. Most of those artists have passed away hundreds or even thousands of years so it might be difficult to arrest those I guess.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 01:22:23 PM by Dustbak » Logged
ddk
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« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2008, 01:17:21 PM »
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Yes, yes, I have not seen more than one image, but on the other side. Why do we need to have under age girls posing naked in the first place. The artist knows that it is not the same to show a portrait of a child with a shirt on as opposed to on the nude, so lets not pretend that there is no difference at all.

I see my 6 year old son naked all the time but don't want to take photos of him and blow them for a gallery show, would you do that with your 14 year old daughters as photographers?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=197732\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Honestly, I would have loved BH to someday photograph my family including our young daughter, I'm sorry to say that you've missed the point and beauty of his art.

david
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« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2008, 01:44:07 PM »
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Yes, yes, I have not seen more than one image, but on the other side. Why do we need to have under age girls posing naked in the first place. The artist knows that it is not the same to show a portrait of a child with a shirt on as opposed to on the nude, so lets not pretend that there is no difference at all.

I see my 6 year old son naked all the time but don't want to take photos of him and blow them for a gallery show, would you do that with your 14 year old daughters as photographers?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=197732\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Personally I think the human body is the most natural thing in the world. As long as the context is non-sexual I see nothing offensive in nudity, no matter the age. For example Sally Mann's photos of her children are incredibly beautiful and as far from offensive as you can get IMO.
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Ignatz_Mouse
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« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2008, 01:45:25 PM »
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Yes, yes, I have not seen more than one image, but on the other side. Why do we need to have under age girls posing naked in the first place. The artist knows that it is not the same to show a portrait of a child with a shirt on as opposed to on the nude, so lets not pretend that there is no difference at all.

I see my 6 year old son naked all the time but don't want to take photos of him and blow them for a gallery show, would you do that with your 14 year old daughters as photographers?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=197732\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Take a look at Sally Mann photographies of her own sons and daughters, please... By the way, take a look at some Caravaggio's paintings...
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