Sunday, May 25, 2008

Art Censorship

Been an interesting few days in Sydney with photos been seized by the police from the walls of an art gallery on the grounds that the art work is pornographic.

While I won't comment on the case what is disturbing is how the politicians are jumping on the bandwagon of condemning the art works - which clearly shows how morally conservative the government is in Australia.

We have the following comments from various politicians:

"Kids deserve to have the innocence of their childhood protected. Whatever the artistic view of the merits of this sort of stuff - frankly I don't thing there are any - just allow kids to be kids." - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

"These images were simply not appropriate. This exhibition not only crossed the line but jumped right over it. This is not a debate about censorship - it's about human decency and the moral codes by which we live and raise our kids" - NSW Premier Morris Iemma.
The only politicians to support he artist against the police action has been the Greens and the general art community has been supportive.

As for the complainant - Hetty Johnston - check out the following Google searches plus Braveheart - Hetty Johnston:
It will be an interesting week to see if the police actually do attempt to prosecute anyone over the pictures. To be honest I think if any charges are brought they will be dropped as were the charges against the Chaser Comedy team for their APEC stunt

Interesting today a simple browse in bookshops found images of naked children in a number of photography books - most were actually of babies or other non european children. So based on the Hetty Johnston and the NSW Police those bookshops should also be prosecuted and those books banned.

Whatever the merits or not of the photos the most disturbing aspect of this whole case is how the politicians have weighed in arguing strongly against the photos in what seems to be a talk back lead censorship campaign. Then again I really don't expect much better from Kevin Rudd when he won't even allow Civil Union celebrations and as for Morris Iemma the only reason he is the still the state premier is because the opposition Liberals have been taken over by right wing morale conservatives who no one wants.

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