23 May 2008

In the News

Prosecution over nude child photos urged http://au.news.yahoo.com/080522/2/16z32.html?f=mv

Police quiz photographer over nude shots http://au.news.yahoo.com/080522/21/16z28.html

These 2 reports appeared on Yahoo news this morning, and I suspect there will be a lot of debate over the topic.
I haven't got involved in debates on my blog before, but this is something I feel very strongly about.
Being an artist myself, I can understand the stance of the "art community" that feel the photos should be allowed, but, I question their arguments about these particular photos.

I have only seen one photo (the one in the article) but it doesn't look like "art" to me. I can see no difference between it, and photos taken by predators setting up their victims. To say there is no sexuality in the photos, is beside the point! What is sexual to one person, is different to another.

"Michael Reid says the naked body has been the subject of art for thousands of years" Well, yes, Mr Reid, but not as photographs! These have been done as paintings, and are not usually of naked 12 to 14 year olds. Apart from that, even if it had been, that doesn't mean it should be a continued practise. We clear felled land for hundreds of years. Should we continue to do it?

The fact that the photographer exhibited a body of work similar to this 10 years ago, without an uproar, is incidental. It merely points out that we as a society have become more aware of the problems associated with adolescent nude photography, and the repercussions of it on the children. And that's a good thing!

I feel that we have a responsibility towards our children. Even if permission was granted, how can we expect 12 to 14 year olds to make rational sensible decisions that may have long term repercussions? Would you let your daughter at that age, pose for a nude photo that was going to be displayed to the public, even if she wanted to, and even if it wasn't sexual? I know I wouldn't. How would she feel at 17 or 18, if someone came up to her and said they had seen her nude in a photo? Embarrassed, I'm sure.

I am not a prude. I enjoy some adult pornography from time to time, and there is something very lovely about sensual photographs. But let's keep children out of it!

What sort of message is it sending our kids, if we accept this? What sort of legal argument are we letting loose in our courts if we allow pubescent nudity in photographs in the name of art?

And more importantly, what are we subtly saying to kids who have been abused in this manner?

I have been told i am a prude and I'm over reacting, by a couple of people. Do you agree, or disagree, with my opinion? I welcome your comment.


  1. I'm really boiling up about these photos and the people who justify them!! I've looked at the photographers own Website which has none of the confiscated photos on it but the ones he does have I find deeply disturbing. I think those who follow along with the indignant trendy and think this is Art also believe the 'Emperor' was wearing clothes.
    I didn't vote for Kevin Rudd but he said it for me... 'Just let the children be children' Especially in this world when there are enough disturbing images of children on all forms of media. The Photographer may be well known around the world for his form of 'Art' but that doesn't make his photos right or proper. Ignore those calling you a 'prude' Lindi, I for one am glad you spoke out!

  2. Steve Bailey7/6/08 01:10

    I can't believe the naivity, pubescent children have been used in art for 1000's of years and yes photography too ever heard of Lewis Carroll (yes Alice in Wonderland), David Hamilton, Sally Mann, Jock Sturgis (I guess not), ever seen the album cover to the 1969 Blind Faith album (look it up it's easy enough to find), easily obtainable naturist magazines all have images of naked pubescent children, it's hardly 'trendy'.

    These types of images are easily available at bookstores, music shops, newsagents and have been for god knows how long.