Thursday, 6 October 2011

'Bill Hensons court of public opinion'-nsfw-subject to edit.

The genesis of this collage came  about because some of my work was vandalised by a student. This shocked me, and i wondered about the history of censorship and why people choose to engage in direct action rather than dialogue. Below is one of the painting that was vandalised.


In my research of censorship, i found most disruption of an artists work comes from small independant protest groups. Like the National legion of Decency  and the Catholic Legion of Decency, a hugely powerfull protest group from within the American Catholic church. It brings me to one of the areas of interest in my art, what if 'offensive' and what is art. And do people who are offended, have the right to stop other adults from being exposed to it.
Bill Henson is a photographic artist whose images of adolescents are beautiful and troubling, and deal with the transitions we find ourselves in whether adult or child.

Since he sometimes photographs them in states of undress people have accused him of producing child pornography. He has had shows stopped and work seized, but in court his art is always accepted as art and not as pornography involving children.
In investigating this case, i found the same tabloid newspapers that condemn art that shows images of children, show in almost every issue images of teen stars in bikinis, in states of undress. They use a fake moral concern in order to justify leering over images of teenagers. This hypocrisy was something i wanted to explore.
The woman hovering over the chaos is the journalist Miranda Devine who without seeing the show itself started a campaign to have his work banned.
The links are to the case and Hensons work.
What do you think of Hensons work?. Do you think he should be able to photo images of children,even if their parents give consent and are on the set, what do you think of the journalists who sell papers based on condemning art they have not seen?.
Do you think we can look at images of children now, without filtering it through our fear of pedophilia?.
I would love to hear your comments, please leave them , you can do anon if you wish.

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