Sunday, July 06, 2008

Lets Get Out of this Country

Child with Monochrome (probably a Malevich, but I'm not sure)

Hi Folks, The Artswipe is still on annual leave. I'll be back soon I promise. Meanwhile, the culture wars persist, with the latest issue of Art Monthly Australia igniting debate about the issue of child nudity.

Magazine Puts Naked Child on Cover
Daily Telegraph, Sunday 6 July 2008

A taxpayer-funded magazine has used a picture of a naked six-year-old girl on the cover of its July edition in protest against the treatment of artist Bill Henson.

Angered by the "hysteria" over Henson's pictures of a 13-year-old girl, the magazine also has a number of highly sexualised images inside, The Sunday Telegraph newspaper says.

Art Monthly editor Maurice O'Riordan says he hopes the July edition will restore
some "dignity to the debate", the paper says.

It says an angry NSW Premier Morris Iemma on Saturday threatened to withdraw the magazine's funding.

The July edition of Art Monthly Australia also includes several provocative photos of children posing naked in adult jewellery as well as naked teenage girls.

In the editorial, Maurice O'Riordan says he chose the picture of the young girl in the "hope of restoring some dignity to the debate" and to "validate nudity and childhood as subjects for art". Mr O'Riordan, who does not have children of his own, told The Sunday Telegraph he does not care if it stirs community complaint.

"Maybe this is bold, but I don't see the need to give in to that sort of hysteria or the prospect of complaint.

"I couldn't really understand the furore."

Art Monthly Australia receives more than $50,000 in funding from the federal government's Council for the Arts and lists the NSW Ministry for the Arts under sponsors and partner. The state government has issued grants to the magazine in previous years.

Mr Iemma immediately threatened to withdraw future funding after he was contacted about the images on Saturday.

"Images of this kind are distasteful, exploitative of children - a cheap, sick stunt at the expense of a young child," he said.

"We've now reached a sad point where some people think naked kids can boost their sales and get them a headline. We will have no role in funding them while they use images that exploit children."

More than 5,000 copies of the magazine have been distributed across Australia.
The magazine also includes images by Bill Henson.

In May, police raided the Roslyn Oxley Gallery in Paddington, confiscating several images by Mr Henson, including the photographs of a naked 13-year-old girl.

The photos sparked major national debate and angered several organisations, including child welfare groups, with Mr Iemma labelling the works "offensive and disgusting".

Mr Henson was cleared of any wrongdoing following a police investigation.

A spokeswoman for the Australia Council on Saturday defended its decision to help fund the magazine. She said the council regards Mr Henson as one of the country's premier artists.


Skanky Jane said...

I wonder....could it be that the good Premier Iemma is in damage control - what with the pressure (from within) to stand aside and a right bashing from recent polls? And all because members of his government have been very naughty - embroiled in allegations of corruption, despotism, bribery, extortion, sexual harassment, domestic violence and even an alledged, and bizarre, "sex for favours" case involving under the table kebab sucking. What better way to re-claim the moral high ground than by pumping this "issue" up a bit more?

The Divine Miss White said...

Twitchy, bitchy Artswipe!

Malcolm Boura said...

It's amazing how a black rectangle can debase an innocent picture of a child.

Actually, that black rectangle illustrates rather well how irrational some parts of this debate are.

Anonymous said...

He was not cleared in London, far from it, he is likely to be banned from visiting there. That takes talent, even some members of Al Qaeda haven't quite nanaged that.

Skanky Jane said...

I'm just really worried about that poor tar covered baby that Lemma has locked in his cabinet.

Love your Malevich!

Skanky Jane said...

Damn - I always get "despotism" and "nepotism" mixed up - not the brightest bulb in the garden me.

cash brown said...

that black rectangle looks hauntingly familiar.....

Anonymous said...

Alison Croggon is in rebel Cork! I have to cover for her, where to start, same again really.

Well the Pope has a big painting of a trussed up Japanese schoolgirl, the truth is trussed up, trussing up Japanese schoolgirls is not sexual,

Caravaggio use to truss up Japanese schoolgirls, artists have been doing it for years.

Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – 3 hours ago
“The little girl is in there along with bondage images, including one of a Japanese schoolgirl in school uniform trussed up in rope while another image

I think that more or less has it covered, oh, Cate is to play a trussed up schoolgirl in her next movie

Anonymous said...

the real scandal is david laity getting a full article!

concerned, lavender bay

sharn said...

Wow, it's really warmed me to hear that ArtMonthly has decided to reignite the child porn and art debate with the fabulously pathetic R. Nelson as spokesperson. I'm sure Bill Henson must sleep more easily knowing that such caring people are watching out for him.
I've never seen such a senseless decision made to show a 5 year old 'B' grade image on the cover of a magazine priding itself on it's 'currency'.