"Got to hurry on back to my hotel room,
Where I've got me a date with Botticelli's niece.
She promised that she'd be right there with me,
When I paint my masterpiece."~ Bob Dylan
In The Guardian
today is this typically smart essay
by Germaine Greer on the recent (apparently ongoing) controversy surrounding the censorship of an exhibition
by Australian photographer Bill Henson. (The Gallery page is here
.) Apparently,Australian PM Kevin Rudd has pronounced the Henson photos "absolutely revolting." While I am underwhelmed by the photos by Henson that created this uproar (and said so here
long ago), Rudd surely is simply playing to the outraged crowd. Greer nicely compares the Henson photos not simply to various well-circulated media and fashion images but to a painting by Botticelli that apparently has been festooned across the London Metro. Referring to Rudd, she concludes, "the man who rejects them [Henson's photos] with exaggerated horror is appalled not by the works themselves but by his own response to them. Innocence is not an option." That is why the Dylan lyric seems appropriate. And, of course, an exhibition
paintings is making the rounds at the moment here in the U.K. too.
Untitled © Bill Henson
Of course, all this brings to mind the similar flap in London, just a few months ago
regarding the advert for a Cranach exhibition that was censored too. Here
are Greer's comments on that flap too.
Labels: Bill Henson, Censorship, child porn?, Germaine Greer, Legal, sex