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Thread: Art to be classified like films? What affect on photography??

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    Art to be classified like films? What affect on photography??

    http://www.news.com.au/national/comi...-1226082565315

    THE visual arts industry is appalled by a proposal to apply a classification scheme to artworks exhibited in galleries across the nation.

    A Senate committee review of the national classification scheme has recommended controversial artwork, such as Bill Henson's divisive images of children, be subject to the same classifications as movies, TV and video games.

    Debate raged yesterday about the recommended measure, which the art industry fears may lead to unnecessary censorship.

    Paul Greenaway, who runs Greenaway Art Gallery in Adelaide, labelled the senate committee recommendation "an appalling suggestion".

    "There is a line obviously that public institutions have to tread because they have a very general audience," he said. "(But) You're seeing it within context, you're looking at it in a fine art context."

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/comi...#ixzz1QRTvYgVw

    The 200-page report, released late last week by the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee, says the defence of "artistic merit" is not enough to allow some controversial works of art to be exhibited, particularly when it comes to those that depict children.

    Chairman Tasmanian senator Guy Barnett said the current classification system was "broken" and "flawed" and the recommendation was striving for uniformity across all media platforms. "Visual arts should not be exempt from our criminal laws and our anti-pornography laws," he said.

    "Bureaucracy out of control"

    The industry, however, says self-censorship is enough, with many galleries posting warning signs when explicit or possibly confrontational works are on display.

    Art Gallery of SA director Nick Mitzevich said a "one size fits all" approach to classification might be damaging to the industry. "Most of the visual arts industry censors itself and understands the moral compass of the industry," he said. "I think there's little evidence to support such a draconian approach - a one size fits all. It seems it's bureaucracy out of control."
    Warning: The usual warning:
    This is another emotive topic, so stay on topic and do not get personal - bans will be issued if you transgress as you have been warned


    I would hate to have to submit my photography for classification if it were entered into a public competition or displayed in a gallery or anart show,
    but at the same time there are photos (and art) that are clearly age inappropriate.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



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    More nanny state stuff.

    We are too accepting of government telling us what to think and what they think we should do / feel / like.

    This is the same in education where educational authorities are pandering to those who want no child exposed to anything that may make them (or their parents) uncomfortable.

    I will no longer teach Romeo & Juliet (one of the literary classics) because I am sick of the growing pressure (and even profession threats) to not discuss the themes of teen sex and young male violence (the two main themes in the play).

    So, we will end up with (or perhaps now have) a generation of kids who are never challenged or made uncomfortable and therefore - never learn a perspective in anyway different to their own or how to deal with the reality of life after school.

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    And, I know this has been said before... but,

    What if the world had been 'protected' from that shocking image of the starving African child being stalked by the vulture or the Viet-Cong being summarily excuted by a bullet to the brain, or the girl with melting skin after she'd been napalmed?

    Perhaps we would still be pretending that there was never a problem.


    (oh! I forgot: we are...)
    With modern journos being 'embedded' with military, they only permit us to see the nice images - so we pretend that places like Iraq are ok and demand we turn back the boats.

    Scotty

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    I can't say I think it's a great idea, but those contentious Henson images from 2008 did actually get classified - and they received a PG rating. If the censorship is sensible, and it seems like it usually is in Australia, then I can't see it being a huge problem most of the time. Some artists get seriously out to lunch with shocking people at times - Serrano's Piss Christ offended a lot of Christians, but pushing the boundaries is one of the functions of art and the censors appear to know what's what.

    Scotty, I seriously doubt that the images you mention, which I agree are very important, would be censored.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    More nanny state stuff.

    We are too accepting of government telling us what to think and what they think we should do / feel / like.
    Interesting that you should use the tobacco lobby's catch cry in this context, Scotty. You may be surprised to learn that I actually agree with you on this point.

    My problem with the Henson images was NOT how the children involved were portrayed; I thought they were lovely images. My problem was that we shouldn't be usurping the rights of children when we can have no way of knowing the impact of our decisions on their lives decades later. Art isn't more important than the welfare of the individual IMHO.

    We can agree to disagree on that issue, if you like, BUT on this one we don't have to disagree at all. If we can agree that government has too much to say in what we do with our lives then it's not a huge leap to say that censorship and carbon tax are actually related issues! They both deal with overriding the rights of the individual for the common good.

    For me the problem comes when governments don't indicate, before they are elected, that they will later adopt this or that stance (whether it be on censorship or taxation). By not seeking a clear mandate they have effectively usurped our rights as individual voters to elect our representatives on the basis of our own views on such issues. We wouldn't even be considering a carbon tax were it not for the importance of Green's support for the Labor government, and the Greens in no way represent the majority opinion on this or any other issue! Most labor members wouldn't support a carbon tax simply on the basis of their constituent's wishes any more than they supported Work Choices (what oxymoron that was).

    Personally, I think it's high time that question of individual rights vs. the common good was taken out of the hands of politicians, because they are all only too willing to sell their votes to cling to power. Maybe we need not only a Censorship Board (as we now have) but also a Taxation Board to question and prove government claims that certain taxes are justified on the basis of the common good! Let's allow the public to make direct submissions to such boards regarding what they do or do not want to be allowed to see or be taxed to support!
    Last edited by WhoDo; 27-06-2011 at 9:47pm.
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    Wow! That is taking one issue and hijacking it for another issue (Bill Henson ==> Carbon Tax.... That is the Segway of the decade ).

    For the record, I don't have a problem with the tobacco wrapper restrictions. I do support any individual adult who wants to be an idiot and their right to smoke. However, I do not support the right of tobacco companies to advertise their products to impressionable kids.

    The two are seperate issues. Tobacco companies have spent millions on psychologists etc to devise strategies to appeal to kids. Kids can't be expected to resist this massive psychological assault. Of course the tobacco companies are targeting kids - they aren't targeting the adults because they are dying.

    Anyway, enough of this irrelevancy .

    We are talking about art, not for profit business.

    Talking tax... again, we are not talking about people's money or their desperation to hold on to it.

    We are talking about people's need to have their minds opened up by confronting art.

    Piss Christ, yes, it was probably offensive to some Christians but that is OK. Religion needs to be challenged. Sometimes religion is offense to others. I know a small time artist who depicts Jesus as a gay man... This is his way of challenging the offensive stance the Catholic Church takes against gays.

    As for protecting children.... from what? Their bodies? Those Henson shots weren't sexualised! Maybe we need to protect children from the attitude that bodies are a thing to be ashamed of.

    I hope you don't support the notion that Romeo & Juliet is inappropriate because it discusses the issue of teenagers and the pressures of sexual awakening.


    I can hear the chants now!
    "Ban Shakespeare for a better world"

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    kinda like changing 'bah bah black sheep' to 'bah bah rainbow sheep'.... hmm... it's been done here in perth already... i went to a primary school one day and saw the crayon drawn sheep with rainbow confetti stuck to it's body... hmmm....

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    Quote Originally Posted by smallfooties View Post
    kinda like changing 'bah bah black sheep' to 'bah bah rainbow sheep'.... hmm... it's been done here in perth already... i went to a primary school one day and saw the crayon drawn sheep with rainbow confetti stuck to it's body... hmmm....
    ????????

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    Scotty wrote
    ""As for protecting children.... from what? Their bodies? Those Henson shots weren't sexualised! Maybe we need to protect children from the attitude that bodies are a thing to be ashamed of.""
    Col

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    I don't have an issue with Art being classified. It seems to me that those that vehemently do not want it, are assuming that artists are 'better' people than anyone else, and have some divine right to not have the rules that are applied to others, applied to them. For me it smacks of arrogance.

    What are we afraid of, if Art was classified?

    As for everyone using the "rights" to define their reasoning, this is Australia, we do not have a Bill of Rights. And just cause you have the ability to do something does not mean it is your 'right' to be allowed to do it. People who use their RIGHT to do something to justify being allowed to do it, need to step back and consider the implications and reasoning for doing it, rather than just jumping off the bridge, cause they can.

    There seems to be some sort of fear that classifying Art will change it. I suggest that this is not so, rather it will define Art more. Some Art is porn, some porn is Art.
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    where would you put the "PG" sticker on a photo ?

    would an "R" sticker be like a figleaf ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    ????????
    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news...-1226012652386

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    Wow! That is taking one issue and hijacking it for another issue (Bill Henson ==> Carbon Tax.... That is the Segway of the decade ).
    Glad you got a kick out of it, Scotty! I just thought there was a great deal of incongruity in arguing FOR restrictions on one front (a tax) and AGAINST them on another (censoring art) even though both proclaim they are for the "common good".

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    We are talking about art, not for profit business.
    And that distinction is important because ...? At a fundamental level both issues address freedom and the desire to restrict that freedom for the "common good". That's all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    We are talking about people's need to have their minds opened up by confronting art.
    There is a great deal of difference between what is "confronting" - causing people to think about the issues addressed - and what is "offensive". The latter is more to do with attention-seeking sensationalism than any altruistic desire to open people's minds for whatever reason, and forces rather than causes attention to be focused on an issue, usually with negative consequences.

    In my view it is a bit like the "comedian" who feels that foul language is essential to their humour. I find their humour sadly lacking if it relies on foul language for its effect! The same can be said for "art" that seeks to be offensive in order to justify its classification as "art". It simply isn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    As for protecting children.... from what? Their bodies? Those Henson shots weren't sexualised! Maybe we need to protect children from the attitude that bodies are a thing to be ashamed of.
    No, not from their bodies. Those are indeed truly beautiful in all of their shapes and sizes. Children do need protecting but in my view the protection is from any adult, parent or otherwise, making decisions the child may later regret them making on their behalf. Adults in general, and parents in particular, have a responsibility to safeguard the future of their children against regrettable decisions. Ask any of the indigenous Australians of the stolen generation whether they feel any better that the adults who took them from their families believed they were doing so for their own good!

    Decisions affecting us are very, very dangerous when made by us and for ourselves. They are potentially explosive when made by us for someone else, regardless of the underlying intention. After all, isn't that the point of the discussion on censorship too; people making decisions for other less mature people but with the best of intentions? For the record I think decisions that restrict, like censorship, are far less dangerous than those that abrogate choice by "opening up minds" that aren't yet equipped by experience to receive the input.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    I hope you don't support the notion that Romeo & Juliet is inappropriate because it discusses the issue of teenagers and the pressures of sexual awakening.
    No I don't think Romeo & Juliet is "inappropriate" but I do think your imputed reason for that is off the mark. Shakespeare's work may well address those issues in the context of today's society and its pressures, but I seriously doubt those issues were central to its themes when it was written!

    It was a different age, and the distinction of their age was not so much an issue then. In those times 20 may well have been considered middle aged! People often died before they were 40. In THAT context the fact these lovers were also teenagers was probably less relevant than their emotional awakening.

    There is no need to sensationalise Romeo & Juliet in order to make it attractive to today's youth. What young people today still cannot relate to young lovers (in the purest sense) being torn apart by family and failing to recognise better alternatives for their future in the face of that? Why not focus on the issues that divided the two families? Why not focus on the alternatives that may have meant they were both able to avoid the tragedy of an early death by suicide and lost love? I guess sex still sells, eh, even in the classics?

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    I had a cat named Sambo, and a dog named Blackie when I was a kid, and I certainly didn't think about any racists slurs that their names could imcur, and I doubt very much if any kid would find an Enid Blighton book having homosexual overtones either, but there are so many do-gooders out there now trying their best to think up ways of slurring the things we all grew up with and loved.

    Like Shakepeare.

    My wife came from a very artistic family, where her father collected lots of paintings when he was alive.
    We have inherited some of them, and some of them are of nude ladies.
    We have 2 of these nudes hanging over our bed, and we've had all sorts of funny comments about them including comments that we should be ashamed of having nude paintings above our beds and in our family room.
    Now these pictures are by a famous artist who does his artwork in just a few lines, so any one of these ladies is depicted in less than a dozen sweeps of his brush, and how these could ever be construed as being offensive, I'll never know. There certainly isn't any detail in them, unless you call a curved line representing the breast of a lady offensive.
    But it goes to shwo that there are some people who try to find offense in everything they see and hear, and I feel so sorry for them as they wil never have a happy life.

    As far as changing nursery rhymes, that's just plain ridiculous!

    Mary had a little lamb
    It's feet were black as soot,
    And everywhere that Mary went
    His sooty foot he put!

    Now try changing black to rainbow in this one!
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    Hi all, I'm not that good at discussions like this and so forth But how about the pore old Golliwog..
    I was listening to the ABC radio station during Oprah Winfreys visit, (whoopee bloody doo) and they had
    a talk back on the Golliwog and whether it is offensive and should it be displayed in her presence
    (A snippet from Google
    A MELBOURNE doll shop has withdrawn a golliwog from its display to avoid offending the Oprah Winfrey road show.)
    And how about Catch a nigger by the toe.
    I cant take a camera to my sons school concerts, Why! is it to protect the children, No, I think it is another way to raise funds for the
    school, (you can purchase there videos) well that's not so bad I suppose.
    I think society is _ _ _ _ _ _ and going way too far with the sensitivity shit.
    There are that many images of children on the internet why would a sicko bother going to a school concert to satisfy his/her SICKNESS,
    After all the lighting in them halls makes it to difficult to get a good shot anyhow
    I hate discussing politics, We vote these terds in the hope that they come through with their promises and they all end up full of shit
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    where would you put the "PG" sticker on a photo ?

    would an "R" sticker be like a figleaf ?
    Now that is an interesting concept.

    Hmm, interesting topic.

    I am against any form of censorship but there are times when inappropriate material should be restricted, especially when younger children are not in the company of adults.

    While I like Bill Henson's work, in my opinion he does at times seem to deliberately create controversy to fuel his own fame/infamy.

    If common sense was common, there would be no need for anything like this. I am certainly not convinced that such a scheme is necessary as I think we have done quite well over the years without it.
    Cheers

    PeterB666


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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    I don't have an issue with Art being classified. It seems to me that those that vehemently do not want it, are assuming that artists are 'better' people than anyone else, and have some divine right to not have the rules that are applied to others, applied to them. For me it smacks of arrogance.

    What are we afraid of, if Art was classified?

    As for everyone using the "rights" to define their reasoning, this is Australia, we do not have a Bill of Rights. And just cause you have the ability to do something does not mean it is your 'right' to be allowed to do it. People who use their RIGHT to do something to justify being allowed to do it, need to step back and consider the implications and reasoning for doing it, rather than just jumping off the bridge, cause they can.

    There seems to be some sort of fear that classifying Art will change it. I suggest that this is not so, rather it will define Art more. Some Art is porn, some porn is Art.
    It is not arrogance.

    Perhaps I should be clear:

    if something is created as a for profit enterprise (eg. commercial cinema) then, classify away.

    But, if it is an artwork for education, public comment etc then, no. Especially if it is by an individual artist (as opposed to a corporation)

    I know it may be difficult to know which is which but, not really... there is already a provision for EXEMPT FROM CLASSIFICATION.


    Anyway Rick, you were the first to bring up rights. Rights work both ways. Many nanny staters claim they have the right to not be offended. By saying you don't want your child exposed to certain works of art and literature, parents are claiming the 'right' to keep their children ignorant of society.

    Of course classifying art will change it. An artist may want to do a painting depicting the horror of the massacres of Aboriginals. He may wish to make a social statement that helps encourage debate in schools etc. If he thinks his painting risks getting an M or R (where it can't be shown in schools), he may tone it down... The art and the message is watered down. The whitewashing of history continues - the telling of history is suppressed.

    It is already happening now Rick... Some kids don't learn of the Nazi horrors because schools are too wary of offending some sensibilities.

    A travesty if you ask me...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fantasyphoto View Post
    See - hundreds of years of culture - changed by some over sensitive censor...

    So, dumb!

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    Just another nail in the coffin of democracy in the governments (all partys) push to dictatorship.
    Keith.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    From Kyms thread starter;"THE visual arts industry is appalled by a proposal to apply a classification scheme to artworks exhibited in galleries across the nation." (orange emphasis mine)
    And part of his comment; "I would hate to have to submit my photography for classification if it were entered into a public competition or displayed in a gallery or anart show,........."
    Most post's don't seem to address the topic, I think.
    If the proposal was to classify all artwork everywhere, like posting a photograph on AP, then I'd be up in arms. However things to be displayed publicly, possibly need classification. Having said that, I don't believe banning is a classification. Warning and restricted access is as far as I'd like it to go.
    Last edited by Mark L; 28-06-2011 at 8:34pm.

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