Sydney teen nudes: art or child pornography?

posted at 7:27 am on June 6, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Australia’s Prime Minister called the pictures “revolting”. The Classification Board gave a sample set of photos grades of G and PG. Cate Blanchett warned Australia that it risked its standing in the art world if they shut down the world-renowned photographer’s exhibit, and in the end Bill Henson will have his photographs displayed. Why all the fuss? Henson’s photographs show nude 13-year-olds:

Photographs of nude teenagers that prompted police to close a gallery exhibit in Australia’s biggest city and launch an obscenity investigation were cleared Friday as non-pornographic, and police dropped their case against the artist.

Police announced that no charges would be laid in connection to the photographs by leading Australian photographer Bill Henson.

The decision appeared to clear the way for the reopening of the Henson exhibit at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery. Police shut down the exhibit hours before it was to open May 22 and confiscated dozens of photographs of naked adolescent boys and girls to investigate whether they violated obscenity laws.

Can nude photographs of pubescent children be considered art? Perhaps, but as a parent, I’d be hard pressed to understand why an artist would suddenly want to photograph dozens of 13-year-olds without their clothes on for any artistic reason. In fact, I’m even more curious as to why the parents of these models allowed it.

I’m much more libertarian about what adults do with clothes and photography. If adults choose to show off their genitals for cash, that’s a decision they make on their own. Nudes have a long and honorable tradition in art, so I understand the artistic value of images of nudes in sculpture, paintings, and photography. But children already get sexualized at ever-younger ages, especially in Western society, and that tradition doesn’t require 13-year-old models to survive.

Kevin Rudd, the center-left PM, snorted at the ruling of the Classification Board, calling the idea of the display “revolting”, and despite Blanchett’s criticism, says he will not change his mind. Blanchett says that creativity was being stifled. I’d say that creativity has its limits, and that nude models for artistic or any other purposes should be of an age where they can understand the implications for themselves and not get exploited for other purposes.

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A nude child was good enough for Cream.

If a 13 year old can make a decision to have an abortion without adult permission, why not the decision to be nude as well?

That slope thing really does work….

drjohn on June 6, 2008 at 7:30 AM

Can nude photographs of pubescent children be considered art?

We going to arrest anne geddes?

triple on June 6, 2008 at 7:30 AM

Perhaps polygamist groups accused of abusing children should describe their compounds as art colonies.

rhombus on June 6, 2008 at 7:31 AM

Here’s an idea:

You want to catch child predators?

Open naked kids art galleries.

They’ll come to watch, those who stare more than 5 seconds, bust them.

Indy Conservative on June 6, 2008 at 7:43 AM

I looked at censored pics of the “art” and was struck by the attitude of the models. They were not presented in a way that I thought a 13 year old girl would view her body. Their poses were too mature for their age.

Not being a girl, I can only go by my impression of my daughters attitude during those years for her. I assume this is the age where the girls who develop faster make the girls who don’t be very aware of their perceived flaws. She was very private and concerned about the changes she was going through.

If the models posed in a way that reflected that, then I suppose you could consider it “art”

I for one have no desire to invade that part of a young girls private feelings. To me it is an issue for them to discuss with their mothers or other responsible female role models. Perhaps in that context, the photos could be valuable if they helped girls be comfortable with their bodies and not look to fashion mags to decide if their bodies are acceptable.

Kind of like that cable series where the gay dude helps women get comfortable with their bodies by getting them to do nude photo shoots. My daughter loves that show and sees a lot of positive benefit for women.

csdeven on June 6, 2008 at 7:49 AM

Indy Conservative,
They’ll come to watch, once they walk in, bust them.

I agree with the Captain, that kids just don’t understand what’s ahead in their lives once they’ve themselves been published in the nude at 13 for SALE.

maverick muse on June 6, 2008 at 7:52 AM

Indy Conservative,
They’ll come to watch, once they walk in, bust them.

maverick muse on June 6, 2008 at 7:52 AM

I know, but I left a range of 5 seconds for the “true” art lovers (?), more than 5 seconds, they are predators.

Indy Conservative on June 6, 2008 at 7:55 AM

Dr. John

A nude child was good enough for Cream.

Wasn’t Cream. It was Blind Faith.

Spike72AFA on June 6, 2008 at 7:56 AM

I don’t use the “exploitation” label lightly, but when it comes down to adults getting 13 year olds to drop trou, it’s the only g-rated word I can think of to describe it.

Oh, and Shut Up Cate Blanchett. Given your “performance” in Indy 4, you’re among the least credible voices on what is art or creativity.

JohnTant on June 6, 2008 at 7:56 AM

Kind of like that cable series where the gay dude helps women get comfortable with their bodies by getting them to do nude photo shoots. My daughter loves that show and sees a lot of positive benefit for women.– at 7:49 AM

“I think that the reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief”

maverick muse on June 6, 2008 at 8:02 AM

I agree with the Captain, that kids just don’t understand what’s ahead in their lives once they’ve themselves been published in the nude at 13 for SALE.

maverick muse on June 6, 2008 at 7:52 AM

These kids are being brainwashed by their parents. They will probably become so thoroughly immersed into the culture it will seem like a natural life style.

csdeven on June 6, 2008 at 8:03 AM

Me thinks Barney Frank would approve!

And I can see the ACLU going to bat on this one,
femenazi’s screaming,it’s a women’s body,she can
do want she wants with it!!

And at 13,sorry,thats wrong,Oh wait,lets take a
Liberal survey to see how out of touch we are!

canopfor on June 6, 2008 at 8:04 AM

Two days ago, the local KLBJ morning news hosts were arguing over a judge’s recent decree that a father-in-law either paddle his delinquent teenager to the judge’s discresion IN COURT or else accept the alternative stringent ruling. So the dad’s suing the judge, and the radio host is screaming that no judge has a right to make a decision or to pass judgment!

Village liberals

maverick muse on June 6, 2008 at 8:13 AM

Village liberals
maverick muse on June 6,2008 at 8:13AM.

maverick muse: It takes a village idiots!

fixed it for ya! haha :)

canopfor on June 6, 2008 at 8:17 AM

To steal a line from South Park:

Eric: ‘But dude, you have sex with children….a******’

Limerick on June 6, 2008 at 8:19 AM

This underscore the twisted logic of liberals. In Massachusetts the public school administrators want to prescribe birth control pills to 13 year old girls WITHOUT parents’ knowledge or consent, and the populace wonders why those same teens engage in sex and are viewed as sex objects?

Alden Pyle on June 6, 2008 at 8:20 AM

going to hell in a hand basket

custer on June 6, 2008 at 8:28 AM

A tad o/t.
Captain Ed,if possible,squeeze in a anniversary
of D-Day June 6th 1944 thread! :)

canopfor on June 6, 2008 at 8:28 AM

Dr. John

A nude child was good enough for Cream.
Wasn’t Cream. It was Blind Faith.

Spike72AFA on June 6, 2008 at 7:56 AM

You’re right, of course.

Didn’t set the Wayback machine properly this morning.

Before the first coffee.

drjohn on June 6, 2008 at 8:33 AM

There are innumerable family photo albums of nude toddlers that I suspect none of us would find offensive and rightly so. So the question becomes at what point do nudes of children cross over from being harmless family photographs to child pornography? In my view thirteen crosses the line since it is the generally accepted age of puberty’s beginning. But what age prior to this age is too far? Ten? Seven? Five? Three?

Quite frankly I would probably be repulsed by nudes above the age in which children no longer are being bathed by their parents. Nudes of toddlers convey innocence and wonder to the vast majority of us. But what age do nudes of children start to become sexual objects? Thirteen year old nudes are not nudes of innocence in my view.

Of course the above assumes a generally accepted view of what it means to be a minor. Unfortunately in today’s sexualised world those who consider nudes of thirteen year olds to be art are rejecting the concept of minority (in terms of age) and embracing the morally suspect notion of, “If it feels good it must be OK.” Such a world view dictates that if a thirteen year old can feel sexual pleasure then it is OK to view a thirteen year old as a sexual object.

Really, a display like this is not about art. It is about trying to redefine boundaries in an increasingly hedonistic world.

NotCoach on June 6, 2008 at 8:33 AM

Over the course of human history “art” has been used as a cover for much of the deviant behaviour of those who are devoid of morals.

OldEnglish on June 6, 2008 at 8:37 AM

Not every nude image is sexual. I haven’t seen these images so I can’t comment on this particular case, but there is a difference between art & pr0n — there are times the line gets blurred (even a lot) but there is a difference.

Anyone have pictures of themselves or their kids in the bathtub (or sink) when they were wee little tykes?

And I wouldn’t mind Ann Geddes getting locked up, or at least have her cameras taken away. Horrible, horrible photos.

rbj on June 6, 2008 at 8:41 AM

Ever since that Crocodile Dundee sequel, Australia’s had nothing if not its standing in the art world.

saint kansas on June 6, 2008 at 8:51 AM

Over the course of human history “morals” has been used as a cover for much of the deviant behaviour of those who are devoid of art.

JonM on June 6, 2008 at 9:02 AM

JonM on June 6, 2008 at 9:02 AM

Cute.

OldEnglish on June 6, 2008 at 9:08 AM

I think the bigger issue here begins with the premise that “Cate Blanchett warned Australia”. This is what countries are reduced to, whom gives a tinkers damn what some second rate waif model/actress thinks. And, isn’t it a bit presumptiuous and self-aggrandizing of her to think she is the voice for Australia…or is this a preamble to her Sharron Stone moment.

PatriotPete on June 6, 2008 at 9:10 AM

What if they were young aboriginal girls that pretty much live their lives without much if any clothes? Would that be art? Would it be ok to look at them? Is the problem because these girls are from first world cultures that generally wear cloths? What if they are members of a nudist camp and very comfortable hanging around naked? Is the problem that we as adults overly sexualize young girls so now it’s impossible for us to separate nudity from sex? For me I don’t consider nudity to equal sex although I recognize that nudity can be used to enhance or evoke a sexual experience. That said I do think there is a problem in that we as a culture have hyper sexualized our children and now have a monumental problem in that nudity does equal sex for most people. This has sent a clear message to those that find children sexually attractive that to sexualize children is in fact normal and desired.

jmarcure on June 6, 2008 at 9:14 AM

Really, a display like this is not about art. It is about trying to redefine boundaries in an increasingly hedonistic world.

NotCoach on June 6, 2008 at 8:33 AM

In my opinion it’s a manufactured controversy used to create a revenue stream and nothing more than that. I think this is especially true if the photos, which I have not seen, are posed in such a way that some people question them crossing a moral line.

jmarcure on June 6, 2008 at 9:20 AM

JonM on June 6, 2008 at 9:02 AM

John Mark Karr?

Spirit of 1776 on June 6, 2008 at 9:23 AM

jmarcure on June 6, 2008 at 9:14 AM

Excellent post. But on the question of aborigines photographing peoples in their natural settings is clearly not pornography, it is more of a sociological study of lifestyle. However in our Western world a young aboriginal girl would not be allowed to walk around town topless. It is our societal norms that often define our limits. And the norms as I understand them would dictate that photographing a thirteen year old for an art exhibit is not art, but titillation.

Today’s nudes painted in the Western world are sensual and suggestive pieces that convey just about nothing but sexuality. And since we as a society view nudity in such a manner simply changing the name of this display to Lolita Gallery would make it clear exactly what this is.

NotCoach on June 6, 2008 at 9:28 AM

JonM on June 6, 2008 at 9:02 AM
John Mark Karr?

Spirit of 1776 on June 6, 2008 at 9:23 AM
No, Jon Mayer

JonM on June 6, 2008 at 9:30 AM

It’s a complicated issue, imo. I do find it humorous that issues like this aren’t handled with the same ‘sensitively’ that other ‘controversial’ issues are.

If displaying the Confederate flag is considered by some to be a source of historical pride based on honored war dead and tradition rather than racism, should that make it acceptable? Being somewhat acceptable seems to be the test in this question of art or not art. If someone can argue that while many people find these photos pornographic, some find them artistic (and I have no doubt that is the case) do they become acceptible?

I do not argue for one position or another, but find the overall positions of both sides interesting.

Asher on June 6, 2008 at 9:34 AM

Me thinks Barney Frank would approve!

Ah, the old gay=pedophile canard. Methinks you’re a bigot. Or a moron. Probably both.

Grow Fins on June 6, 2008 at 9:36 AM

JonM on June 6, 2008 at 9:30 AM

I was just kiddin’ ya.

Spirit of 1776 on June 6, 2008 at 9:36 AM

Two considerations must be made: 1) The intentions of those creating the photos, and 2) the intentions of those looking at the photos. Sure, there are some who can look at mailboxes and get aroused, but mailboxes aren’t made with that intent. I’m sure there are some who can look at a Playboy and think, “wow, what beautiful women” and never get aroused or have a sexual thought. But the intention of Playboy is to spark arousal. In terms of nude kids, there is definitely a difference between photos of toddlers getting a bath or chasing the dog straight out of the tub and a dolled up girl who’s set up for a pose and happens to be nude. Sure, there is such a thing as nude art, but the viewer should be educated in terms of art and have that as a reference. It’s funny, but when was the last time any lay-person of art ever saw a nude art photo of an old lady or old man?

Send_Me on June 6, 2008 at 9:45 AM

I think Cate Blanchett should do something “creative” and do a nude sequence to posted along with the arty kid shots.

As a dad with a daughter, though she is now older, 13 was an awkward age for her and friends. I don’t see this kind of stuff as being creative or arty or helpful to girls or boys going through puberty.

Sort of like a crucifix in a bottle of urine. It takes no refinement of intellect or imagination to make it happen, and the instruction or inspiration to those who view such items escapes me.

Britney is a Class A mess. Why encourage more kids, or adults to tolerate their kids, to follow that path?

Blanchett, IIRC, is barren, no kids. She has nothing in this fight.

Harry Schell on June 6, 2008 at 9:55 AM

These kids are being brainwashed by their parents. They will probably become so thoroughly immersed into the culture it will seem like a natural life style.

csdeven on June 6, 2008 at 8:03 AM

Kinda like women taking their cues from gays.

fourstringfuror on June 6, 2008 at 9:59 AM

Methinks you’re a bigot. Or a moron. Probably both.

Grow Fins on June 6, 2008 at 9:36 AM

Pot. Kettle. Black.

csdeven on June 6, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Cate Blanchett warned Australia that it risked its standing in the art world

huh…who…wha…?

That line just made me laugh out loud, then I read the link. A 52 year old pervert is photographic nude children and calling it art, and this idiot is worried about Autralia’s standing in the cultural world?

Let me reapeat that, a 52 year old pervert is photgraphic nude children.

I think Cate Blanchett should do something “creative” and do a nude sequence to posted along with the arty kid shots.

For the love of Pete, no. She’s utterly hideous. It makes you wonder if it’s a reflection of her sick, twisted priorities.

reaganaut on June 6, 2008 at 10:04 AM

another typo….

reaganaut on June 6, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Kinda like women taking their cues from gays.

fourstringfuror on June 6, 2008 at 9:59 AM

The assault on the feminine psyche by the gay community is revolting. But a woman being OK with the body God gave her is certainly a good thing.

csdeven on June 6, 2008 at 10:06 AM

two typos, sheesh, need more coffee – photographic = photographing.

Oh no, now I’m spamming.

reaganaut on June 6, 2008 at 10:06 AM

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Ah, a racist too (heh)

Grow Fins on June 6, 2008 at 10:08 AM

The assault on the feminine psyche by the gay community is revolting. But a woman being OK with the body God gave her is certainly a good thing.

csdeven on June 6, 2008 at 10:06 AM

God has plenty to say about that, as do other women. Why do they need help from the deviant community?

I see no potential benefit to this down under lolita show. Absolutely none. It would be just as inappropriate for a father to take his girl to see this as it would for a pedophile to spend hours enjoying the sights.

fourstringfuror on June 6, 2008 at 10:12 AM

Blanchett says that creativity was being stifled.

Pictures of nekid thirteen year olds is not creative. I think the artist ran out of ideas. A.K.A. Nobody was paying him any attention for his previous artwork.

multiuseless on June 6, 2008 at 10:31 AM

God has plenty to say about that, as do other women. Why do they need help from the deviant community?

fourstringfuror on June 6, 2008 at 10:12 AM

God has plenty to say, huh? How about getting a quote from the Almighty? That shouldn’t be hard, since God is allegedly everywhere.

Enrique on June 6, 2008 at 10:32 AM

Perhaps, but as a parent, I’d be hard pressed to understand why an artist would suddenly want to photograph dozens of 13-year-olds without their clothes on for any artistic reason.

Nudity has long had a place in art because it reminds us of our common human vulnerability. We’re all born naked and unprotected, so nudity is often representative of the unspoiled innocence we never are able to appreciate until it’s long past. Vulnerability is at the center of all artistic expression.

Does that help you understand, parent? By the way, I notice that you frame it “as a parent,” as if admitting that having children has screwed up your ability to make sound, dispassionate judgments on these kinds of things. :)

Enrique on June 6, 2008 at 10:41 AM

God has plenty to say about that, as do other women. Why do they need help from the deviant community?

They aren’t teaching deviancy. God works in mysterious ways and I wouldn’t set myself up as the arbiter of who he works through.

I see no potential benefit to this down under lolita show. Absolutely none. It would be just as inappropriate for a father to take his girl to see this as it would for a pedophile to spend hours enjoying the sights.

fourstringfuror on June 6, 2008 at 10:12 AM

I agree, but then I’ve seen the censored photos. Have you?

csdeven on June 6, 2008 at 10:42 AM

Vulnerability is at the center of all artistic expression.

Enrique on June 6, 2008 at 10:41 AM

That is what is argued, but there is plenty of art that is pornographic for pornography’s sake. I believe the “art” we are discussing is exactly that.

csdeven on June 6, 2008 at 10:46 AM

Ooooh… Cate Blanchett warned them. Scary.

I did a google search for “Bill Henson censored”. I found a blog with censored versions of the images, and I don’t think they’re art.

Underexposed (photographically speaking)? Yes. Carefully processed, either on the computer or later as film? Yes.

But the poses themselves are not all “artistic”. He’s using children here for pornographic purposes by trying to blur the line – and that’s just not right. It is not nudity interacting with its environment or nudity in a sociological or cultural setting – it’s just nude children, not yet adults, but certainly old enough to not be photographed this way by a stranger.

Shame on the parents, shame on the photographer, and shame on those who let this go forward and continue to support it.

ChePibe on June 6, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Enrique on June 6, 2008 at 10:41 AM

Now I’ve heard everything! Good grief!

OldEnglish on June 6, 2008 at 10:54 AM

Cate Blanchett greeted the defeat of PM John Howard with the hope that Australia could escape American cultural influence/hegemony and align itself with Asia. Then she helps baste Spielberg’s turkey. One bloody gormless sheila!

mymanpotsandpans on June 6, 2008 at 10:55 AM

God has plenty to say, huh? How about getting a quote from the Almighty? That shouldn’t be hard, since God is allegedly everywhere.

Enrique on June 6, 2008 at 10:32 AM

You’re trying so hard to bait me; it’s cute. Like a little dog nipping at my heels. I’m having a great day, though; it’s too bad you’re not.

Have you?

I don’t need to see it. I don’t want to. Why?

fourstringfuror on June 6, 2008 at 10:56 AM

Video of Bill Henson being flogged could be considered art these days. But I think the artist might find it offensive.

29Victor on June 6, 2008 at 11:00 AM

I don’t need to see it. I don’t want to. Why?

fourstringfuror on June 6, 2008 at 10:56 AM

Then your opinion means less than nothing.

csdeven on June 6, 2008 at 11:06 AM

There are enough nudes in classical art of prepubescent people to satisfy anyone’s taste for such things.

Now, with the international trade in kiddie porn and kidnapped underage sex slaves, you’d think the “artist” would have other things on their mind (or in their moral structure) than abetting this pedophilic-leaning id fetishism.

Kids this age shouldn’t be able to give their permission for being genitally-objectified (otherwise, why take off their clothes?), as they cannot drive or smoke or vote beneath a certain age of consert and responsibility.

The appeal to “freedom” is silly, since you would not appeal to a child’s right to drink as a defense of “freedom”.

It is an appeal for licentiousness, not a defense of liberty.

Only profound work of art that adds something to the human treasury of images could be excused for delving into this realm.

Ain’t nothin’ like that here.

profitsbeard on June 6, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Enrique on June 6, 2008 at 10:41 AM

Vulnerability and innocence is also validly expressed by the use of non-nude youth.

In this case, the photographer took advantage of the vulnerability and innocence of the youths in question to cash in on something that derives what little merit is has from shock value.

The general use of nudity in and of itself is not at issue…what’s at issue is the use of nude barely-teenage children. And as for judgement….I wonder if Henson has any daughters.

JohnTant on June 6, 2008 at 11:17 AM

Both.

We define “art” extremely low in this society, so that governments can’t say “that’s not art” in order to shut down speech. A blank canvas can be art. If you’ve been to a modern art museum, you’ve seen all kinds of crap in with the good stuff.

It’s both, and we can regulate child porn that is also art. Just like we can regulate “performance art” that is also a felony.

There’s no sense getting huffy over the suppression of art, when the art is (legitimately) considered a crime.

daryl_herbert on June 6, 2008 at 11:21 AM

Then your opinion means less than nothing.

csdeven on June 6, 2008 at 11:06 AM

I don’t need to touch a flame to know it’s hot.

I knew it was a mistake talking to you. Guess you’re having a bad day, too. Too bad. Enjoy your lolita pics.

fourstringfuror on June 6, 2008 at 11:23 AM

I am really astonished that commenters on HA would be advocating 13 yr old nude “art” (porn) and thought crime nonsense.

Can you imagine the bureaucracy, policing, politics, etc.. involved in determining “intentions” of photographers and viewers?

From this I assume you people are also onboard with the Canadian HRC thought police and that BS.

Really pathetic!

nottakingsides on June 6, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Ummm this is an easy one PORN. Not art!!

HotAirExpert on June 6, 2008 at 11:58 AM

I am really astonished that commenters on HA would be advocating 13 yr old nude “art” (porn) and thought crime nonsense.

Can you imagine the bureaucracy, policing, politics, etc.. involved in determining “intentions” of photographers and viewers?

From this I assume you people are also onboard with the Canadian HRC thought police and that BS.

Really pathetic!

nottakingsides on June 6, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Intent is irrelevant. No nude photos of minors ever. The only debatable point is above what age should nude photos of children be illegal. Your ridiculous comparison to the Canadian HRC is only relevant if we tried to stop adults from taking nude photos of each other. We’re not talking about adults here. The law never has and never will apply equally to adults and children.

NotCoach on June 6, 2008 at 11:59 AM

In the words of Tereza Heinz Kewwy: Cate can just ‘shove it’.

Christine on June 6, 2008 at 12:04 PM

nottakingsides: You’re taking sides! maybe you should change your moniker to: takessidessometimes.
I agree with Ed, of course: “as a parent, I’d be hard pressed to understand why an artist would suddenly want to photograph dozens of 13-year-olds without their clothes on for any artistic reason. In fact, I’m even more curious as to why the parents of these models allowed it.” Maybe it was money. As for the idiot mothers who took their 8-9 year old girls to see Britney Spears as she improved on Madonna’s sex show, I still don’t get that. (Maybe they want their little girls to ‘grow up’ fast and make them lots of money.)

Christine on June 6, 2008 at 12:11 PM

This underscore the twisted logic of liberals. In Massachusetts the public school administrators want to prescribe birth control pills to 13 year old girls WITHOUT parents’ knowledge or consent, and the populace wonders why those same teens engage in sex and are viewed as sex objects?

Alden Pyle on June 6, 2008 at 8:20 AM

We may think the logic is twisted, but I am not part of the populace that wonders why. I know why, they want to have sex with our children, period. They just want it to be OK.

Remember, Woody Allen is still revered in Hollywood, New York and other liberal bastions. I’ll never forget his response to the Soon-Yi scandal – “The heart wants what it wants.” That’s great. You could use that excuse for anything!

Don’t forget our friends at the ACLU who defend NAMBLA…

This is where these groovy people want to take us, folks. Meanwhile, the barbarians are getting ever closer…

yubley on June 6, 2008 at 12:15 PM

All I want to know is where are thenude pictures of Cate?

easy on June 6, 2008 at 12:34 PM

A nude child was good enough for Cream.

drjohn on June 6, 2008 at 7:30 AM

That was Blind Faith, dude.

Akzed on June 6, 2008 at 12:44 PM

I guess the fact that Henson is an established photographer and (was?) a respected practitioner of art might weigh in his favor. I don’t get art, so I think I have to trust the art community’s expert opinion. Not sure how Cate Blanchett qualifies. Have any artistic photographers objected?

RightOFLeft on June 6, 2008 at 12:48 PM

Paging Lewis Carroll.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on June 6, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Ban “National Geographic” NOW!

ahh my head hurts.

Fishoutofwater on June 6, 2008 at 12:52 PM

The comparison between nude pics taken of our children and this are invalid. Those pictures are in a family photo albumn, and at least in my case, only seen by family. They are not on public display and no one is making money off them. This is child pornography no matter which way you cut it.

Glynn on June 6, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Intent is irrelevant. No nude photos of minors ever. The only debatable point is above what age should nude photos of children be illegal. Your ridiculous comparison to the Canadian HRC is only relevant if we tried to stop adults from taking nude photos of each other. We’re not talking about adults here. The law never has and never will apply equally to adults and children.

NotCoach on June 6, 2008 at 11:59 AM

“intent is irrelevant” – Tell that to the pro-intent police commenters. That was my point.

“We’re not talking about adults here.” – I’m not sure what your point is. I was discussing CHRC and HA commenters promoting thought crime policing in determining whether an ADULT photographer’s (and even viewers) intent was for art or for porn.

You’re focusisng on age of consent for nude photography. I would love to debate that, but I was astonished at the promotion of child nude “art/porn” determined by “intent” of adult artists by some commenters.

nottakingsides on June 6, 2008 at 12:53 PM

You’re focusisng on age of consent for nude photography. I would love to debate that, but I was astonished at the promotion of child nude “art/porn” determined by “intent” of adult artists by some commenters.

nottakingsides on June 6, 2008 at 12:53 PM

That makes no sense to me. Is art not something that is digested by each individual in their own way? If so, why is it unreasonable for someones response to be to classify something as pornographic? Some pornographers that sell explicit material claim they are artists as well. Am I wrong to think of them as pornographers? Passing judgement is a very high form of free speech. Perhaps you want to stop people from passing judgement on art as pornography thought the Canadian HRC?

Here’s my judgement: I’ve seen some of the pics (happened to see one uncensored one as well) and this is pornography. The intent is to titillate, nothing more.

NotCoach on June 6, 2008 at 1:05 PM

Nude art has always been a way to get another person to take off their cloths.

Painters in the old them days were no different than metal bands in the 80s and rappers today.

- The Cat

P.S. Pole dancing is just exercise.

MirCat on June 6, 2008 at 1:22 PM

That makes no sense to me. Is art not something that is digested by each individual in their own way? If so, why is it unreasonable for someones response to be to classify something as pornographic? Some pornographers that sell explicit material claim they are artists as well. Am I wrong to think of them as pornographers? Passing judgement is a very high form of free speech. Perhaps you want to stop people from passing judgement on art as pornography thought the Canadian HRC?

NotCoach on June 6, 2008 at 1:05 PM

In regards to laws/regulation/etc.., I don’t care what anyone, including you, is thinking about art when you see it, or what an artist is thinking when he creates it. And that would apply to any form of free speech. Government should never regulate the mind of any individual, nor has the means to properly analyze “intent”, hence my anti-CHRC, anti-”intent”, and thought police comments.

Feel free to judge all you want, you missed the point completely.

nottakingsides on June 6, 2008 at 1:34 PM

All the interesting links about things happening in Australia I forward: ignored
Link about nude underage girls in Australia that’s been going around for 2 weeks: posted!
Link about idiot in oversized yellow sunglasses who has a party without his parents: posted! multiple times!

Not bitter, but humoured, I must say. But hey, it gets the comments..

Reaps on June 6, 2008 at 1:35 PM

For the love of God, people, IT IS INAPPROPRIATE.

Like Spandex, just because you can it doesn’t mean you should.

macummings on June 6, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Ah,the old gay=pedophile.
Grow Fins on June 6,2008 at 9:36PM.

Grow Fins: I’m not a bigot,or a moron,and pedophile
connection has nothing to do with gays
and children!

If you think gays=pedophiles,then that person
has a very sick brain!

And I was joking,and it got you going!

You are aware that Frank’s boyfriend was
running a male prostitute business out of
Barneys basement,and Frank claims he didn’t
know!

Not hearsay,fact,the authorities were involved!

canopfor on June 6, 2008 at 1:53 PM

I don’t need to touch a flame to know it’s hot.

fourstringfuror on June 6, 2008 at 11:23 AM

What a dope! So getting the context of some photos before running of at the mouth is the same as sticking your hand in a flame?

Like I said, your opinion means less than nothing.

csdeven on June 6, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Cate Blanchett warned Australia that it risked its standing in the art world if they shut down the world-renowned photographer’s exhibit

I long for the day when America’s standing in the art world is unacceptable to Cate. It will be a sign that liberals are losing control of schools and TV networks and government. Maybe we could give Australia PBS to increase the ruin of the human soul Cate is demanding. In the mean time keep a close eye on your kids.

snaggletoothie on June 6, 2008 at 2:31 PM

It does not have to be porn for one to be a perv.

The Race Card on June 6, 2008 at 4:18 PM

Who is Cate Blanchett???… Oh yea, she’s just another actress who doesn’t think before she opens her big yap. Another actress/actor who believes that because they can act that gives them the moral authority on everything under the sun.

You can’t tell me that pedophiles around the world aren’t cheering about this.

Like someone said above, this is yet another attempt to blur that line and make child pornography more acceptable and mainstream. It’s utterly depraved and sick.

4shoes on June 6, 2008 at 4:23 PM

From G.K. Chesterton: “Morality, like art, consists in drawing the line somewhere.”

Rosmerta on June 6, 2008 at 5:36 PM

Oh Cate. What would Galadriel say?

Rosmerta on June 6, 2008 at 5:37 PM

I couldn’t give two craps what a jackass like Cate Blanchett says about child pornography. It just shows how much of a thorough reprobate and degenerate that piece of dung is, to even think that such a thing is defensible. In turn, it’s a great and graphic demonstration of how morally degenerate the majority of her compatriots in Hollywood really are, and why their kind is a detriment to the nation. Ever woneder why they make a habit of supporting politicians that seem waayy out of step with the majority of America? That’s because when you’re out of step with America, you’re in lock-step with people like Blanchett, and the rest of her crew.

Virus-X on June 7, 2008 at 7:37 AM

I did a google search for “Bill Henson censored”. I found a blog with censored versions of the images, and I don’t think they’re art.ChePibe on June 6, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Dude, I just saw an uncensored photo using the same search parameters, and flat-out, it’s PORN. There is NO “artistic value” to any of this, and the man should be prosecuted in criminal court for his actions. The parents should be sharing a cell with him. Furthermore, Cate should never be allowed to make a movie in America, ever again; all the blacklisting they did back in the 50s, they need to bring it back.

Virus-X on June 7, 2008 at 8:03 AM

Another unintentional glimpse into the confused mind of a hollywood “artist”.

moxie_neanderthal on June 7, 2008 at 9:01 AM