I had put this on the back burner, but a recent article on Polixeni Papapetrou has prompted me to bring it forward. Polexini is an artist who got into the usual strife over taking nude photos of her daughter Olympia. This was all part of the Bill Henson furor and it erupted because Art Monthly Australia weighed into the debate by publishing one of Polixeni’s photos of Olympia on its cover.
The photo is only nude in a series based on the work of Lewis Carroll; in this case Beatrice Hatch by the Seaside. It is the only nude in a series titled Dreamchild from 2003
In the greater context of the naked child in art this image is mild. The pose is coy. Yet some of the extremists claimed this image was ‘sexualised’. Even more amazingly, the Australian Prime Minister of the day, Kevin Rudd, declared the image of Olympia ‘disgusting’ and raised the possibility of withdrawing the funding of Art Monthly. This was pure populist politics from an openly conservative Christian politician. It was also a display of his shameful ignorance.
Olympia would have none of it and bravely decided to speak out, telling Rudd that she was offended by his outburst.
Once again we have an example where the subject of the nude photo has spoken out in defence of the photo. Shouldn’t we listen?
Unfortunately apparently not. The critics argued that Olympia had somehow been brainwashed or coached by her parents. They could not allow the possibility that children might enjoy participating in the creation of art and have no problem with posing nude.
pages: 1 2
- The Lure of Aphrodite’s Mirror: Brooke Shields and Eva Ionesco 264,272 views
- The Naked Child in Art: Naturist Photography 206,482 views
- The Naked Child in Art: The New Arguments Against 205,556 views
- Revisiting My Little Princess, a Film by Eva Ionesco 180,365 views
- The Naked Child in Art: Misty Dawn 133,631 views
- Abigail Bray: Adopting the Paedophiliac Gaze 129,129 views
- Photos 119,547 views
- The Naked Child in Art: Photography 114,877 views
- Pretty Baby Revisited 103,204 views
- Corporate Paedophilia: The Australia Institute Discussion Paper 84,574 views
Abigail Bray About Ray Artemis Bill Henson Child Abuse Child Prodigy Christianity Classical Culture Dark Matter David Finklehor Eden Emma Rush Empty Taboos Eros False Certainties Gail Dines Gifted Kids Hetty Johnston Hippie Kids Intersexed Islam Japanese Culture Jock Sturges Melinda Tankard Reist Michael Carr-Gregg Moral Conservatives Naked Child In Art Navaratri Porn Psyche Radical Ideas Rock Chicks Sexology Sexualisation Sexualisation Debate Sexuality Stonefield Suzanne Ost Talented Kids Tantra The Anthropology of Sex The Childhood Culture Wars Transgender Transgression Wild Child