Pauline Futeran argues in The Sydney Morning Herald’s Heckler column that it’s hypocritical of Kevin Rudd to call Bill Henson’s work “revolting” pornography while allowing Australia’s Next Top Model manager to tell a 16-year-old contestant she had to “sex up” her image.
Fair enough too.
However, her conclusion that Kevin should therefore back the local artist is rubbish. Better to can the exhibition and the show and stop the children being exploited.
And really, that’s the issue here. Children being exploited for ‘artistic’ or commercial benefit by adults. What’s the difference between that exploitation and child pornography? I wonder if Bill Henson’s ‘not-porn’ photos were of Thai children or African would he be viewed as a “critically acclaimed Australian artist”.