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Author Topic: Art vs Porn  (Read 9621 times)

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Die Baume des Winters

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Re: Art vs Porn
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2008, 05:51:09 AM »

I just had a look at a number of Bill Henson photographs - and whilst he has obviously taken pictures of younger people before...I can see why this series has caused more of a stir. In terms of pose and gaze and composition they are much more challenging to the viewer - and I can't imagine that he wasn't thinking about challenging the viewer's perception of art vs pornography - which is all the more unsettling for the use of children. It does put me very much in mind of Caravaggio - and, in my opinion - these are acceptable, but difficult and troubling, images.

The following, on the other hand, is nonsense of the higest [lowest?] order...

"THE CANBERRA Centre has ordered the removal of an exhibition of students' life drawings, sparking further concern that art censorship is spiralling out of control.
The seven drawings, created by Dickson College Year 11 and 12 students, were part of an annual exhibition at the centre, celebrating Public Education Week.

But organisers were ''amazed'' when Canberra Centre staff asked them to remove the nude drawings within three hours of displaying them last month.

This took place four days before NSW Police seized Bill Henson's photographs from a Sydney gallery, inflaming debate over what constituted art.

The centre manager of Canberra Centre, Karen Noad, said in a statement: ''As a community shopping centre, Canberra Centre welcomes customers of all ages and from all walks of life, and is therefore mindful to ensure any external exhibitions displayed are respectful to these customers''.

Schools organiser Bill Book, from the Australian Education Union's ACT branch, said he did not understand why ''much more suggestive'' advertising such as the Wrangler jeans image, displayed on a Canberra Centre window in Bunda Street, remained.

''Except that we're not paying, although we are paying, we pay $550 a week for the use of the floor,'' Mr Book said.

''We are just amazed that people would find any of this is offensive, because this is certainly not in the same argument or debate as the Bill Hensons. These are all over-age and the students are also all at least 16.''

Mr Book said he asked the Canberra Centre if he could leave the drawings up showing back views, but ''they said take all the life drawings''.

The drawings were moved to the ACT Legislative Assembly where they were displayed for the remainder of Public Education Week.

University of Canberra Associate Professor Jen Webb said there was a ''tremendous turn'' towards panic as society became increasingly anxious about bodies and sexuality.

''On the one hand, everywhere you look there's sex ... but on the other hand, we have a tremendously conservative shift saying 'people must not have sex, must not be thinking about sex and they must not see naked bodies','' Professor Webb said.

''If art is censored like this, then the next thing to happen is that advertising is censored, and television shows and walking half-naked on the beach and looking at your child when the child's in the bath.

''Where's it stop? Should we be under the Taliban? Should all women be covered in burqas?''

Professor Webb said she did not think ''anything goes''.

Sensitivity and courtesy to viewers was needed, but open discussion about what artworks meant was also needed.

There were also dangers in censoring students.

''If you censor students, what you're saying is that you don't have much of a place in our society, we don't want to hear what you have to say and I think that's really unfortunate,'' she said."


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