07 July 2008

Child Pornography Debate -- Reignited


Is this child pornography?

7 comments:

the writer said...

I find the debate about child pornography is exhausting. A picture of a naked child can be interpreted in many ways and of course the perverts always see it in the pornographic way.

There's a photo exhibition here in Copenhagen by Sally Manns (if I spell her name correctly) where she took pictures of her kids, naked, in beautiful way (I don't think that's pornography in any way, but then again I am a woman and not a pervert LOL) but from what I understood, these photo series have sparked a huge controversy in the US.

The same goes with the old Japanese anime Totoro (I am a big fan) when there's a scene of a father taking bath together with his small daughters - the scene is just completely natural but this has also created a huge discussion group on the internet whether it's an old Japanese custom or that Americans (mainly) are too paranoid about this whole child nudity thing?

Rob Baiton said...

Hey there You...

It is an exhausting debate and one that will be never-ending until the government steps in and puts explicit legislation in place to draw the lines in the sand.

I would imagine any attempt by the government to do this will draw out the free speech advocates.

An aside to this picture. The girl in the picture is now 11 years old (6 in the picture) and gave a press conference telling the Australian PM that she though nudity had a place in art.

The photo was taken by her mother. The father is an art critic and the mother completed a PhD thesis on something to do with art (not sure whether these pictures were part of that or not).

I guess if you are a pedophile then you will interpret the picture in a particular way. For the rest of us, and I dare say majority, we would just see a picture of a kid with a painting in the background.

I am all for protecting the rights of children and have concerns about the sexualization of children. Yet, I am not sure who should be responsible for drawing the lines in the sand.

So, I will have to agree that this is an exhausting argument set to get more exhausting still.

David said...

Writer said:
"I find the debate about child pornography is exhausting. A picture of a naked child can be interpreted in many ways and of course the perverts always see it in the pornographic way."

I say: from another perspective, children simply do not understand the implications of being depicted nude in 'art'. An 11 year old girl may claim to understand "that she though nudity had a place in art", but what will she think in 10 years time when she looks back on the portrayal of herself in the nude, when she is more fully aware of the world and her emotions?

The cartoon character in Totoro was just that - a cartoon character. The girl in the painting is a real human. The artist exploited her, because she could not have fully comprehended the implications (positive or negative) of posing for an artist whose only interest was in self-promotion (an artist has to make a name for him/herself somehow). Of what possible benefit is it to the child?

How many 21-year-olds are happy when their parents flash up photos of their little naked two-year-old at the 21st birthday bash?

I come from a family of artists, so I talk as an art promoter, not conservative economic rationalist poo-pooer.

Rob Baiton said...

David...

Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your perspective on the issue and coming from a family of artists means you probably have a better insight on this than I do.

The photo in question was taken by the girls mother. I do not know that it necessarily makes any difference with regard to the exploitation arguments. Just wanted to add that in.

In terms of 21st birthday parties and bringing out the happy snappies of the younger years. I think this is one of the points I did not make but probably should have.

And funnily enough it is something that I and the missus have been thinking about recently with the approaching birth of "the Kid".

I am thinking that I will still be taking those happy snappies for the family album. I do not see them making their way onto the cover of Art Monthly though.

Dave...I agree in that I do not think children appreciate or understand the implications of appearing nude in art. Yet, how should this be dealt with if the "exploiter" is the parent?

Hence the exhaustion that the writer talks about with regards to this argument.

David said...

Hi Rob,

"The photo in question was taken by the girls mother. I do not know that it necessarily makes any difference with regard to the exploitation arguments."

I dunno, I still think that a parent can be wrong and that a child can change her mind. But I won't meddle in the affairs of a family - that's their prerogative, I guess :).

As for the 21st happy snaps, we took some of our new born in the 'nuddy' but they certainly won't be shown on the big screen at her 21st :)

BTW, is that Brisbane in your avatar there?

Rob Baiton said...

David...

Nope...Darling Harbour, Sydney.

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