Monday, 11 January 2010


It does trouble me that this is happening whilst this is going on. The enormous controversy over the Bill Henson pictures in question has been adequately documented, in Australia at least, and should be quite easy to find. Basically, non-sexualised images of minors caused a mammoth uproar, a gallery closing, other galleries with his pictures in their collections under investigation, and the tarnishing of one of the most successful photographers to come out of Australia, who had been doing similar work without a problem for a couple of decades. Yet it's ok to plaster Lautner around, sexualised, buff, half-naked, when he is also a minor. Sure, he's not showing his doodle, but the principle remains.

Look, I don't really have a problem with Lautner being used like this. I don't. Whatever. My problem is with the hypocrisy. Do you think anyone put up a fight about those Twilight images being used in Australia? No. But god-forbid an acclaimed photographer should take a photo of a naked teenager in a gloomy setting, almost post-apocalyptic, that no normal person would find titillating. I'm sure there are pedophiles out there who got a kick out of it. And I'm sure the same people are reaching into their pants every time that Twilight trailer comes on. 

Come on, people. Use your heads. The destruction of art isn't the answer. Appropriateness for audience and mass-consumption is more relevant than a gallery artist. Tens of thousands of people saw Henson's exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, and then a couple of years later one person takes issue with an invitation sent out to the opening of his new collection at a small, independent art gallery and criminal charges are laid (though I don't believe they ever came to fruition.)

Excuse the crudity, but if there had been a second person in the image, and they were suggestively posed, or there was a boy with a hard-on or something, then sure, charge away. You'd have my full support, and I dare say that of most of the artistic community worldwide. But these images are so far from sexual it's absurd.

End rant.

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