Friday, May 23, 2008

Kindergarten Cop

Not a Bill Henson image.

What's new in "pedo" culture? Ask
Bill Henson, whose exhibition opening at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery featuring nude thirteen year old models, was shut down last night by police. According to The Australian, "Police said they wanted to speak to one of the models before deciding whether the show would go ahead." How controversial! It's like the time Juan Davila's Stupid as a Painter was impounded by police in 1982. Bill Henson has been making similar looking images for years - alas, the tiresomeness of it all. In fact, he has courted similar controversy as his work frequently displays bored, naked youth cavorting in moody landscapes.

I'm not into making grand claims about the moral code of art featuring twinky pre-teen talent, but I do think that police should shut down shows like this. Not because of child protection - that is so passe. Rather, police should shut down shows by artists who keep on churning out the same old, same old. Seen one Bill Henson, seen them all. I would reproduce one here but it seems the Roslyn Oxley9 website has been shut down too. Heavens to Betsy!

I have no real thoughts on whether sexually charged depictions of kids are appropriate in artistic contexts. It's a rather boring debate. If the semi-formed pre-pubescent body is your thing, well so be it, who am I to judge? Sometimes I wonder whether artists into this kind of thing (Larry Clark is another case in point) should just spare us all, get it out of their system and fuck their models once and for all. Maybe then we'll be spared of the ongoing fantasy.


Anonymous said...

Agreed. What a bloody bore. Another stinker for Roslyn.

Anonymous said...

Hey Arty,
I know you lurve relational aesthetics so much. So how does this Henson show compare to the Divinyls Boys In Town video clip (1981)? Remember Amphlett is singing "too much too young".


Anonymous said...

too funnee artswipe and you are spotlessly spot on!!!

....I'm still laughing laughing laughing!!!

Bobby said...

very good! couldn't agree more. boring. i've thought his photo's smacked of pedophillia all along. his photo in tonight's MX didn't change my mind.

Anonymous said...

Your point on Henson's repitition is well taken. but your lack of emathy for children who are open to abuse and their rights is disturbing.

Skanky Jane said...

I don't think Arty lacks empathy... "[f]uck their models once and for all. Maybe then we'll be spared of the ongoing fantasy." just names things for what they are..without being didactic... and remember this?

Anonymous said...

The classification board has just cleared the uncensored photographs. They’d previously cleared the censored material.



05 June 2008



The Irish Anti-Trafficking Coalitions is dismayed that the Australian authorities have cleared for publication an uncensored nude photograph of a 13 year old girl. This closely follows the Classification Board’s green light for photographers to take pictures of naked under-age models after backing down on an investigation into a fashion magazine. Australia is closely emulating Japan in its failure to regulate indecent images of children.

The decision by the Classification Board is in violation of Australia’s obligations under the UNCRC, CEDAW and ICCPR. This is the first occasion anywhere in the world that a nude photograph of a female child who was subject to a police investigation relating to a sexually motivated crime has been cleared for publication. This decision is also a fundamental breach of Australia’s reponsibilities as partner nation of the Virtual Global Taskforce.

/// END

Gregory Carlin


Irish Anti-Trafficking Coalition
4 Downfine Walk
Northern Ireland

(UK) 44 (0) 2890 963164


U18 topless photographs are classified as child pornography in the United Kingdom.

The IATC was a consulting partner with the UK govt. in relation to the SOA 2003

Anonymous said...

It is a matter of national shame this talented child pornographer isn't in jail with an enhanced sentence for being talented. That's the way it is done in civilized countrie.

A review from the affected generation.

'I went to Bill Henson's latest exhibition with my school today and the pictures he displayed of 11-15 year old girls having "sexual intercourse" with 18year old boys was disgusting. Most of the girls didn't even have breasts yet or pubic hair which made me feel ill in the stomach that people actually like this. One particular photo of a teenage guy probably about 19, had a strong grip around a little girl who had no breasts at all or even 'nipple fat' or pubic hair and he had his penis inserted in her from behind. I do NOT on any account think that is acceptable. I do not call them "works of art". I am not against all of his artwork, as I think he has taken amazing landscape shots that really grabbed my attention. He definently has talent for photography. But I only saw 3 photos in the whole exhibition of adults and of course they were not alone, but with children. I will once again state he does beautiful landscape shots, but I do NOT like his portrayel of the human "childs" body, very disappointed.'