Iemma out-of-touch? Why would anyone think that?
Sunday July 06th 2008, 5:12 am

The vast majority of NSW residents are opposed to Iemma’s obsessive desire to hand over control of NSW electricity generation to private interests. A similar proportion of residents thought Iemma (and Rudd) were off the mark for opining that Bill Henson’s art photos of nude adolescents are ‘revolting’ or ‘disgusting.’ Iemma has spent an inordinate amount of effort covering the arse of his minister Bosco the Clown in the wake of the ‘Iguanagate’ affair. Iemma’s further spent $86million of public money on a party for his pope and associated flying monkeys from the wealthiest religion on earth, when NSW hospitals are in crisis due to lack of funding. THEN Morrie passed absurd and draconian laws in NSW against ‘annoying’ or ‘inconveniencing’ World Youth Day Month attendees, which actually are more intended to prevent embarrassment to the NSW government than inconvenience to WY D M pilgrims, drawing withering fire from all quarters, Catholics included.

So, what does Morrie do when Art Monthly Australia runs this image on their current cover…

Olympia as Lewis Carroll’s Beatrice Hatch before White Cliffs,
from the series Dreamchild, Polixeni Papapetrou, 2003

…which Noise Ltd censored and also doctored by darkening it in a Hensonesque way, to make it seem as though it IS somehow inappropriate, at least for Henson haters:

The above, as displayed on the News Ltd website

well, of course… Morrie puts on his ‘moral panic’ facade.

Girl, 6, in nude cover protest

July 06, 2008

A TAXPAYER-funded magazine has put a naked six-year-old girl on the cover in protest at the “hysteria” over similar images by photographer Bill Henson.

The July edition of Art Monthly Australia also includes several provocative photos of children posing naked in adult jewellery as well as naked teenage girls.

This is 'provocative'? Pull the other one, it plays Jingle Bells
Olympia wearing her grandmother’s jewellery #4,
from the series Play, Polixeni Papapetrou, 2001

In the editorial, Maurice O’Riordan said he chose the 2003 picture of the young girl in the “hope of restoring some dignity to the debate” and to “validate nudity and childhood as subjects for art”.

The image, taken by Melbourne-based Polixeni Papapetrou, is believed to be her own daughter.

Mr O’Riordan, who does not have children of his own, told The Sunday Telegraph he did not care if it stirred community complaint.

“I believe the image is of a six-year-old girl,” he said.

“Maybe this is bold, but I don’t see the need to give in to that sort of hysteria or the prospect of complaint.

“I couldn’t really understand the furore.”

The artist, Ms Papapetrou, said she supports the use of her work for the magazine’s cover.

“We need to be clever enough to distinguish art from other types of images, otherwise we live in danger of eradicating any image of childhood in this culture for future generations to see.”

Art Monthly Australia receives more than $50,000 in funding from the Federal Government’s Council for the Arts and lists the New South Wales Ministry for the Arts under sponsors and partner. The State Government has issued grants to the magazine in previous years.

NSW Premier Morris Iemma immediately threatened towithdraw future funding after he was contacted about the images yesterday.

“Images of this kind are distasteful, exploitative of children – a cheap, sick stunt at the expense of a young child,” [Iemma] said.

“We’ve now reached a sad point where some people think naked kids can boost their sales and get them a headline. We will have no role in funding them while they use images that exploit children.”

More than 5000 copies of the magazine have been distributed across Australia. The magazine also includes images by Bill Henson.

In May, police raided the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Paddington, confiscating several images by Henson including the photographs of a naked 13-year-old girl.

The photos sparked major national debate and angered several organisations, including child-welfare groups, with Premier Morris Iemma labelling the works “offensive and disgusting”.

Mr Henson was cleared of any wrongdoing following a police investigation. […]

Proof positive that Morris Iemma couldn’t catch a cluesave those expensive black boxes for better uses in a bucket- or is willing to pull the populism lever in the misguided hope that it will do something about NSW Labor’s abysmal approval ratings.

Papapetrou’s loving photos are an act of devotion and adoration for daughter Olympia, simple depictions of a child at play- not exploitation.

This is a bit of a Rorschach test. There’s nothing in the least ‘provocative’ about the Papapetrou images- unless, of course, the viewer has unresolved feelings about their own sexual attraction to children, in which case just about any image of a child could be called ‘provocative.’

Morris Iemma has proven over and over that he quite simply does not have the leadership ability nor sense of being the employee of the people of NSW necessary to successfully execute his office. If Iemma doesn’t quit soon, he’s simply handing NSW government to Batty O’Farrell. While Iemma’s at least as far to the political right as O’Farrell on any number of issues, a Liberal controlled NSW state government would be even worse.

Sorry, Mo- but your approval ratings are not going up until you start behaving in the best interests of the people of NSW. Noise Ltd should be saving their black boxes for Morrie’s mouth.


From Rudd v art critic over child nudity in The Age:

“A little child cannot answer for themselves about whether they wish to be depicted in this way,” Mr Rudd said. “Frankly, I can’t stand this stuff.”

Actually, in this case, the little child could and did answer for herself regarding her depiction. Moreover, some decisions in children’s best interests often are taken somewhat unilaterally by parents, against objections from the child. Few children, given their choice, would opt for vaccination shots. Parents are capable of assessing the future benefit, while children, being children, may not be able to see the benefit beyond the pinprick. Immaterial in this case as Olympia participated enthusiastically:

The picture, taken in 2003 by Melbourne photographer Polixeni Papapetrou of her daughter Olympia appeared on the cover of this month’s Art Monthly Australia. The edition also has photos of other naked children.

But The Age art critic Robert Nelson, Papapetrou’s husband and father of Olympia, now 11, said the family had no regrets and the photograph was a great work of art.

“It’s interesting that if the Prime Minister comments on, say the greenhouse effect, he gets expert advice first,” Monah University Associate Professor Nelson said. “I would like to know which art expert advised him on this.”

He said Olympia often posed for her mother and this photo, which had been exhibited in major galleries in Australia and New York, was one of her favourites.

“Many parents ask Poli to take pictures of their children but for it to be art, they have to put their hearts into it and absolutely want to do it,” he said.

“Olympia thinks it’s ridiculous that the Prime Minister is talking about it, and even my nine-year-old son said: ‘Don’t people understand that photography is acting?”‘

If he took any counsel at all, KRudd appears to have been advised by well qualified and respected art experts like Hetty Petty.

A number of folks, including myself, mused before the 2007 elections that put KRudd in the PM’s chair, regarding whether Kevvo’s religious conservativism was going to get in the way of his better judgment in governing an entire nation of people, of which only only a fractional percentage are as conservative. The answer is a resounding yes, but I believe it’s a much smaller problem compared to the utter disregard for the Australian people (and people in general, really) inflicted upon us by HoWARd.

I want to know where these much vaunted public protectors of other people’s children have been recently when several have been murdered. You white knights want something to worry about? There’s lots of real threats to children; art isn’t one of them. Your job’s cut out for you- get busy.

Comment by weez 07.07.08 @ 6:32 am

Look out Kevvo- You’re about to cop the wrath of Olympia!

Comment by weez 07.07.08 @ 1:20 pm