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Thread: Naked Children - Porn or Art?

  1. #1
    Athena
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    Question Naked Children - Porn or Art?

    This is sliiightly the same as the other thread Atomik posted a few months ago (can't remember it's name, something like porn/erotica/art/nudity)

    I was looking through a HUGE book yesterday by an artist named Nan Goldin and she takes some amazing photographs. I can't remember the name of the one I was looking through but it seemed to just be documenting her life and the people around her. A lot of it was everyday things such as "so and so at the beach" but then there were also a lot of her friends in intimate situations, not too unusual in the art world.

    However there were quite a few of children, not in compromising situations, just playing or standing there, or doing what children do - but naked.

    I didn't really think much of it, it was just like browsing somebodies family album.

    But then by mad coincidence I was browsing the papers earlier and found this article

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...nbaltic125.xml

    A photograph by a controversial American artist which is part of Sir Elton John's private collection has been seized by police from a gallery on suspicion it may have breached child pornography laws.

    The shot, from the artist's Thanksgiving series, was to be exhibited at the Baltic Modern Art gallery, Tyneside, this week along with some of her other work. But the day before it was due to be viewed by the public, police came and removed the image over fears that it might be breaking the law.

    People could look at it and think "what a lovely picture" or they could think "phwoar nekkid kiddies" but isn't that the same for everything? People could be wanking over Michaelangelo's David?!?!

    Is it societies fear over being called a paedophile, or the fear OF paedophiles (they're EVERYWHERE you know!)

    Or is it that they are young and so possibly exploited?

    Most parents have at least one picture of their child in the bath, or running around the garden with his willy out, but taken from a purely parental point of view, the same as Goldin's. So why is she getting criticism for sharing it?

    Or she she just trying to cash in from being controversial (I think not, she's been around too long, and she was already famous for other photographs).

    I guess it's a very grey area, as if you allow them to be shown, then would it be okay for child porn to be shown under the grounds of "artistic merit"

    I'm pretty much on the bench for this one, but I thought it would make for a really interesting discussion.

  2. #2
    Resident Palaeontologist pteroophia's Avatar
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    I don't know where to look when i see a pic of a nekkid kiddy, it might be arty but if someone catches you looking at it they could could come to some very wrong conclusions...
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  3. #3
    Athena
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    Quote Originally Posted by pteroophia
    I don't know where to look when i see a pic of a nekkid kiddy, it might be arty but if someone catches you looking at it they could could come to some very wrong conclusions...
    That's what I think too, even being female (as it is males that are usually thought of as paedophiles)

    But when you think about it in alot of cultures they have children running about naked and nobody thinks twice about it, but then again even if naked adults here start running around people seem to get very embarrassed.

  4. #4
    Divine Light princesstigermouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naeni
    People could look at it and think "what a lovely picture" or they could think "phwoar nekkid kiddies" but isn't that the same for everything? People could be wanking over Michaelangelo's David?!?!
    That's exactly what I think. I find it horrifying that is I take a photo of one of my own children in the skin they were born with, I might be breaking the law.

    I used to run naked around the beach as a kiddie and I can still remember what a beautiful freedom that was.
    xx spring xx

  5. #5
    Heavenly Creature Ses's Avatar
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    I guess it depends... I mean look at the chapman brothers...
    http://www.pixelteca.com/poramoralar..._imagenes.html

    Some people can say that's art... personally I just think it's sick.

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  6. #6
    Athena
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ses
    I guess it depends... I mean look at the chapman brothers...
    http://www.pixelteca.com/poramoralar..._imagenes.html

    Some people can say that's art... personally I just think it's sick.
    I found a book of his in the library last year and had a look through it, it's quite bizaare!

    But I can't actually understand at all what it may mean, its just genitals on children, pretty much all their work!

    EDIT: but browsing through it oh my its the same people who do the funky little people, they're amazing!

    http://www.pixelteca.com/poramoralar...agenes_01.html


  7. #7
    Pi is exactly three Boz's Avatar
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    To me its like this:

    If the artist or any other adult involved with the making of the photo of a nakid child did so in order to gain sexual gratifiction from the image, or to provide it for someone else, then its pedofilia.

    If it was taken completely innocently as an artistic photograph or as an innocent memory of that time then thats fine.

    The issue comes, in my opinion, when its for profit...what does that mean?

  8. #8
    Heavenly Creature Ses's Avatar
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    Hmm... I have to say I'm generally quite offended by the chapman brothers...to be honest the images of children just disturb me and I'm not really a fan of the crucifiction imagery. But I imagine they set out to offend people, they seem to me like those really annoying boys at school whose sole purpose in life was to totally annoy everyone.
    But maybe pissing people off is art now? Haha

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  9. #9
    Wannabe cat lady mithra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naeni
    That's what I think too, even being female (as it is males that are usually thought of as paedophiles)

    But when you think about it in alot of cultures they have children running about naked and nobody thinks twice about it, but then again even if naked adults here start running around people seem to get very embarrassed.
    In the early 1990's another female photographer, Sally Mann, caused similar controversy whith black and white nudes of her kids.
    The best thing about the internet is that no-one knows you're a cat...

  10. #10
    Cheap and Cheerful Moderator Paul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ses
    I imagine they set out to offend people, they seem to me like those really annoying boys at school whose sole purpose in life was to totally annoy everyone.
    Or maybe they just set out to challenge people; to take accepted ideas and present them in a way that makes people think about where those values come from.

    We can all annoy people at the drop of a hat if we so choose, but to spend time creating something purposely designed in this way takes time and thought. Of course, not everyone is going to "get it", but that's the whole nature of art nowadays.

    As for the OP, if an image is not designed to titillate, but manages to do so anyhow, then is the creator of the image at fault or is the person viewing that image at fault?

    The "art" I did find more disturbing was the recent photography exhibition where the artist had deliberately made kids cry by teasing them before shooting them. to me that was deliberate exploitation of the subjects. I can't remember the photographers name now though.
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  11. #11
    i'd agree with Boz on this one, it depends on what the context and reasons behind the pictures are. if you catch your kid doing something particularly funny in the bath for instance you might snap a photo as a funny memory. however if you pose your kid in the bath to snap that photo for sexual gratification of yourself or someone else then that is horribly wrong.

    sort of on topic but it bothers me to a degree that it's become such a taboo to see a child - even a baby - naked that it's like we all have to act like children don't have genitalia of any kind. for instance there's this commercial - can't think of what it's for ... maybe water or something - where there's all these babies - under the age of 1 - floating about in water and such and all of them have blurred genitalia like they are barbie dolls or something. i find that MORE bizarre personally. it's like our culture has become one which assumes that everyone is a paedophile until proven otherwise.

    i don't have my own kids, but i think kids can be so cute the way they do things and play and such. but i'm always worried when i'm out at the store or something that if i see some kid doing something silly or whatever and i look and smile that some parent is going to think i'm some big perv. whatever happened to just being able to appreciate humanity without having to worry that someone is going to think you're a horrible person.

  12. #12
    Enochian Heavens Door scarlett's Avatar
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    i'd like to see the painting to make up my own mind please...
    Scarlett-I can't tell them the truth:they'll panic and think it's witchcraft

  13. #13
    A.K.A Her Tekness tekno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarlett
    i'd like to see the painting to make up my own mind please...
    Here is one of the photos that Nan Goldin took... I won't put up the pic... I don't see anything wrong with it.... but others might

    http://fototapeta.art.pl/2003/i/ngo/ng-06a.jpg


  14. #14
    Enochian Heavens Door scarlett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekno
    Here is one of the photos that Nan Goldin took... I won't put up the pic... I don't see anything wrong with it.... but others might

    http://fototapeta.art.pl/2003/i/ngo/ng-06a.jpg
    is that it ?

    bloody hell what a storm in a teacup...what next, destroying Michelangelos David ?
    Scarlett-I can't tell them the truth:they'll panic and think it's witchcraft

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    site bike wiggy's Avatar
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    I think anything to do with chuldren and being naked needs to be with great care. I think its ok for parents of the kids to have naked pictures but i certainly wouldnt splash a picture of one of my nekkid chuldren over the internet.

    There are a few reasons mainly because they dont give permission for their bits to be on display and of course because you dont know who is looking at them.

  16. #16
    hippy mummy of four! HALES's Avatar
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    having pictures of your kids in the garden in the buff or at bathtime are completely different to exibitions in a gallery. i think its not too good an idea cos who knopws who would be looking at them

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    Radiant Being John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HALES
    i think its not too good an idea cos who knopws who would be looking at them
    Does it matter? Surely the issue with child porn lies in two areas:
    Firstly, it involves damaging the children. This isn't the case here.
    Secondly, it normalises the idea of child rape, abuse, etc. This isn't an image of abuse or rape or, really, anything remotely sexual.
    Sexual attraction to children is bad because it ends in abused children, not because it's inherently "evil" or anything like that. People can't help those feelings (I assume. As far as I can see, it's no different to men being attracted to men or whatever), it's their actions that are dangerous.
    I'm gonna creep inside you like a warm kitten!

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    Divine Light princesstigermouse's Avatar
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    That's quite similar to how I feel about it. I don't think anyone can help who they're attracted to. A man who is attracted to a woman is very different from a man who chooses to rape a woman.
    Last edited by princesstigermouse; 27-09--2007 at 04:07 PM.
    xx spring xx

  19. #19
    hippy mummy of four! HALES's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John
    Does it matter?

    As far as I can see, it's no different to men being attracted to men or whatever), it's their actions that are dangerous.
    well i sure as hell wouldnt want images of my children being used to potentially excite/gratify pedophiles

  20. #20
    Divine Light princesstigermouse's Avatar
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    Indeed, and that would be your choice. I think I would feel the same. I think the important word is choice.
    xx spring xx

  21. #21
    Enochian Heavens Door scarlett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HALES
    well i sure as hell wouldnt want images of my children being used to potentially excite/gratify pedophiles
    but you've put pics up on this forum..it's public..therefore you are doing just that
    Scarlett-I can't tell them the truth:they'll panic and think it's witchcraft

  22. #22
    Athena
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    Paedophiles can get gratified from sitting on a park bench and grinning at children as they walk past..fully clothed, I think the only way to not have you or your children to not excite some perverts is to lock yourself in a room.

    For example, I walk down the street barefoot...how many foot fetishists are there? Quite a lot apparently, so by walking barefeet am I saying "come on boys come have a look!" or am I simply walking barefoot out of choice, should I have to wear shoes to stop perverts..and then what about people with nose fetishes? should I wear a scarf around my face? Or a whole muslim cover thing?

    Thats a rubbish argument, but I hope it came across with a point!

  23. #23
    Enochian Heavens Door scarlett's Avatar
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    the naked form has been used in art since antiquity for its beauty...be it child,adult, male or female...it would be a shame to stop now just because of a moral panic.....for example,there are hundreds of representations of The Christ Child sat naked upon his mothers lap or in a crib...
    Scarlett-I can't tell them the truth:they'll panic and think it's witchcraft

  24. #24
    Chilling Out Ailema's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HALES
    well i sure as hell wouldnt want images of my children being used to potentially excite/gratify pedophiles
    Would you rather an innocent image of your child playing on the beach or something was being used by a paedophile, or that the paedophile was getting their kicks from a picture of a child genuinely being abused, though? Don't get me wrong, I hear exactly where you're coming from- I just think.. well, it's a bit like suicidegirls vs porn starring a woman being exploited because she's addicted to smack or something- I'd rather get my kicks from a fully consenting model who's fine with doing it than someone who has little choice.
    Duffman is thrusting in the direction of the problem!

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