art cops

a photograph by jan saudek withdrawn from the ballarat international foto biennale festival due to a complaint by some woman protesting it depicted a mother prostituting her child [link] – she went to the backers of the exhibition and they threatened to cut funding of next years event if the photo was not removed – no charges laid but an increasingly familiar story – most notoriously in the case of bill henson as reported here – and, as i failed to report, that of a gary gross “woman in the child” photograph of the 10 year old brooke shields (naked ‘cept for heavy make-up) as ripped off by artist richard prince (cropped tighter, stuck thru an orange filter, several extra noughts on the price tag for his trouble, but otherwise the same image) – the work was “advised” to be removed by scotland yard’s obscene publications squad paying a friendly visit to the tate modern’s “pop life” exhibition a couple of years ago

a spokesman for the ballaret festival:

People supposedly standing up to protect children are creating a situation where we can only look at children in a sexualised way.

…but it does look like a mother prostituting her child!

10 thoughts on “art cops”

  1. There is a book on Amazon called, “The Henson Case by David Marr. From the reviews the book defends his photos.
    I honestly see nothing offensive about the picture above. She reminds me of a female Damien. The picture has that kind of feeling.
    Honestly, I find those kid beauty pageants more offensive. Those mothers are living out their out their own lost selves through their children. I hate it when then the mothers say, ” I couldn’t stop her if I could, she wants to do this!”. Meanwhile, they’re yelling at their daughters like grown adults. I like Jock Sturges’ life Studies of the communities he and his family is a part of. He really respects the people who he takes photos of and I like the fact that if someone whom he took photos of as a child now changes his or her mind he won’t publish their photos in any future editions.

  2. It definitely looks like a mother prostituting her child. But if people would consider pictures like this as childpornography or anything harmful, which should get prohibited, then they really have a screw loose! To consider this as harmful CP would be equal to consider W. A. Bouguereau as Lolicon!

    \"certain themes are no longer permissible in art – sucks to be trevor brown\"
    Hajime Sorayama once said, that the rules in the art-business are mostly getting more and more tightened, because of unbalanced idiots in certain genres. – \" They come along. Do something exaggerated. Get locked up for it. And surrender themselves into ridiculousness. Sure, you have to be a little crazy to show your creations to the whole world, but just being stupid, that\’s a problem!\" – …or something like that…He especially was critizising Lolicon artists there.

    If there wouldn\’t be so much Cp crap outthere, which really exploits children, then i\’m sure, there also would be less people who would say something against pictures like the above.

  3. To me it looks like a mother selling her daughter’s little doll (it’s on the mom’s knee, you perverts, I bet you hadn’t even looked there). And the daughter looks really pissed off about it: “touch it and I’ll go medieval on your ass”-she snarls. She’s dishevelled because she just wrestled mom for it, and lost.

  4. As much as I detest fakers like Richard Prince who produce “art” completely lacking any originality or creativity, it is not fair to say he “ripped off” Gary Gross. He obtained the rights to the photo from Gross for the express purpose of “rephotographing” it.

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