Which picture do you find most offensive

I’ve got an american friend who is a professional photographer. I find her work inspiring. She is really talented.

She called me today quite upset. She had entered an artistic competition on the net – Artist wanted. When she submitted her work to the competition she had to choose one picture out of her portfolio to represent her work. This would be used as a thumbnail. Visiting the site you can choose to view some of the work of the competing artists. This is a randomized function showing the chosen thumbnails of each artist. If they catch your eye you can by clicking them see the rest of that artist’s portfolio. My friend choose this picture of her daughter, that was taken when visiting Sweden.

foto: Christianne Ebel

My friend got an e-mail from the organisation telling her to change her thumbnail. Because of it’s sensitive nature It might be considered offensive, she was told. I don’t know what anybody else would think, but I am offended by people that find something offensive in that beautiful depiction of an innocent child.

To find out what kind of pictures where allowed I clicked the randomize function multiple times to check out the work of the other artists. This nude man masturbating in the street is one of the things I found.

Among the other pictures there was many depicting nudity in an erotic or sensual fashion. I consider myself open minded and liked a lot of the stuff I saw. None of it was offensive to me. But I would think that among people that are offended by nudity the man in the mask would be worse than the little cute girl in the water. But what do I know?

I would like my readers to tell me their views. What do you think of these pictures?


EDIT: I changed a sentence because I got told exactly how the people at the competition had formulated their e-mail.

Engelskan är för att min amerikanska väninna och hennes vänner ska kunna läsa vad jag skrivit.

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17 Comments

  1. Henrik Brändén skriver:

    The whole thing is rediculous; I don´t find the photo provocative, but I think I understand what makes some people feel uncomfortable with it. There is something in the photo of that´s not only usual innocent childish nudity.  Its somehow the  combination of the pose and the eyes/gaze of the girl, that reminds of an provocative /inviting look from a more mature woman. And if you see in the photo that sort of invitation from such a young girl …

  2. Marcus Fridholm skriver:

    Of course some people are going to find the picture suggestive, that is kind of symptomatic of the whole underlying problem isn’t it? Personally I see a beautiful picture of an innocent young girl bathing in an almost mystic setting.

    Something about the picture creates a tension. This in turn makes us think about what that might be and why? We react — and maybe in the process we realise something new, or are reminded of things we took for granted. To me that sounds just about like a point-on lexical definition of art.

    The purpose is clearly not exploitative, nor is it pornographic — heck it is not even sexual per see. But you can trust the moralist to read all of those things into the picture. And when they start making noises about it, what was innocent will turn ugly and both the artist and the model will be dirtied and victimised.

    We have become thoroughly fixated by sexuality, in a bad way, to the point where we can no longer appreciate or even accept art if it threads on our preconceptions. What’s worse, we have made our collective fixation into norm, or even law, making even the person who does not suffer from such problems suspect.

  3. Ava Avane Dawn skriver:

    The  way sweden is going with laws concerning child pornography, not only is it not safe to post these kind of pictures, but also just to look at them! I find it ridiculous and don’t find anything offensive in either picture, but do feel more challenged by the first one. My interpretation is that it’s provocative because it’s forbidden, because it acknowledges the little girl as a (sexual) subject and not only (asexual) object. Our culture is filled with pedomorphic women in advertisement and also outside marketing, but people do not want to admit it. This picture blatantly disregards that and invites the viewer to a reflection on hypocrisy and childrens autonomy and desires.

  4. E-mannen skriver:

    Nude-kid: Better picture, but offensive.

    Nude-guy: Boring picture, not as offensive.

    None of them offensive enough to ban in any way.

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Göran Widham, Niklas Dougherty. Niklas Dougherty said: @opassande Fann bp tämligen omgående för Enochssons och kristdemokratisk analys! http://bit.ly/9KxTVF [...]

  6. Lord Metroid skriver:

    Srop being scared little cat Ava Avane Dawn. If no one is posting things like this and puts down a foot. The sharks will take the whole leg before you know it. There is nothing offensive about neither the images, usually the people who are offended are those that harbour the ill thoughts themselves. There is a very easy solution to the problem. Do not look at it!

  7. Sophia skriver:

    Well, my first reaction was that it’s a boy with an irrigated penis painted into the picture (something in the sand played a trick with my eyes).

    Honestly – I don’t like it. To me it’s not childishly innocent, but as Henrik remarked, an adult pose. With that said – I don’t like all art I see. Some is quite offensive – and should be.

    Ecce Homo took me some time to appreciate. Carl Larssons drawings from their home, make me angry. What artist paints whit black boarders so the picture will be easy to print?! His portraits mostly in oil on the other hand are masterpieces!

    I think that we should ban politicians whit double standards – because them I find disturbingly offensive! Make it illegal to even lay an eye on theme! God only knows, there may be some sick creature that finds them sexually arousing …

     

  8. David Jansson skriver:

    I don’t see any of the images as offensive. Maybe I would have if I had actually gotten aroused by the first picture. It’s a bloody good composition. On the other hand, I think the daughter could be seriously creeped out and ashamed of that photo when she grows up. Not so much about the concept of her naked, as of thoughts of why her mother would take a photo with a look that can be interpreted as suggestive.

    I see nothing wrong with the second photo, but I must remark that considering the point you are trying to make, putting that particular photo in the same post as the first photo might be a bad tactical move…

  9. David Jansson skriver:

    Sophia, ”with an irrigated penis”

    Huh? Isn’t irrigation something you use to water plants?

  10. Marcus Fridholm skriver:

    Huh? Isn’t irrigation something you use to water plants?

    You just left me with a picture of a penis with irrigation-ditches dug into it… Brainbleach!!! :mrgreen:

  11. David Jansson skriver:

    You just left me with a picture of a penis with irrigation-ditches dug into it… Brainbleach!!!

    That’s not how you make penises grow!

    Uhm. Unless it is. I think it generally would require a pretty strong flow… The shower certainly doesn’t work for me.

  12. Ava Avane Dawn skriver:

    ”On the other hand, I think the daughter could be seriously creeped out and ashamed of that photo when she grows up. Not so much about the concept of her naked, as of thoughts of why her mother would take a photo with a look that can be interpreted as suggestive.”

     

    Well, maybe it was the child hirself that took that pose and created the context? The parent maybe wouldn’t see the suggestive part of it when just playing around.  And well, when I become a mother I’d take this kind of picture if my child would behave like that; whether it was some kind of performance copied from tv or an actual sexual thing for my kid–why should it matter? Are we ashamed of our kids who have desires?

     

    And concerning the ”penis”, well, I still fucking see it! But dismissed it as my eyes playing a trick on me.

  13. Henrik Brändén skriver:

    Ava: You are right! I also see it; probably a part of a stone on the beach…

  14. Marcus Fridholm skriver:

    I didn’t see it before someone pointed it out — now I have to shut it out.

  15. Göran Widham skriver:

    @David Jansson Concerning your remark below:

    I see nothing wrong with the second photo, but I must remark that considering the point you are trying to make, putting that particular photo in the same post as the first photo might be a bad tactical move…

    I do not consider it a bad tactical move since the point I want to make is that the defintion of things such as pornography, art and even child pornography aren’t as clear cut as they may seem. And this means that it maybe isn’t such a good idea to expand upon the legal definition and the legal means to fight child pornography, if we aren’t very sure that the people making the call when it comes to cases that aren’t clear cut have super human powers of analysis.

  16. [...] sin natur. Men det är en balansgång på mycket slak lina, för vem är det egentligen som ska avgöra det? Är det upphovsmannens syfte eller betraktarens tolkning som gäller? Försök hitta en sådan [...]

  17. [...] gäller de bilder av barn som är ägnade att vädja åt sexualdriften. Jag påminner om mitt inlägg om tolkningen av ett fotografi av ett barn från för någon månad [...]

  18. [...] att publicera bilder på nakna barn. Att det i USA är en stor försiktighet kring det. Jag är medveten om att det är så där. För man är rädd att bilderna ska användas fel av hemska pedofiler antar jag då. Rädsla [...]

  19. [...] att publicera bilder på nakna barn. Att det i USA är en stor försiktighet kring det. Jag är medveten om att det är så där. För man är rädd att bilderna ska användas fel av hemska pedofiler antar jag då. Rädsla [...]

  20. Reg skriver:

    What I see is a child thoroughly engaged in exploration of a new environment and very curious about what her mother is up to.

     

  21. Martin skriver:

    The pictures does not show anymore :( Did you get cought by the Swedish police?

  22. Marcus Fridholm skriver:

    Hardly. But the exhibition was a temporary thing, so it’s likely they’ve been taken down.

5 Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Göran Widham, Niklas Dougherty. Niklas Dougherty said: @opassande Fann bp tämligen omgående för Enochssons och kristdemokratisk analys! http://bit.ly/9KxTVF [...]

  2. [...] sin natur. Men det är en balansgång på mycket slak lina, för vem är det egentligen som ska avgöra det? Är det upphovsmannens syfte eller betraktarens tolkning som gäller? Försök hitta en sådan [...]

  3. [...] gäller de bilder av barn som är ägnade att vädja åt sexualdriften. Jag påminner om mitt inlägg om tolkningen av ett fotografi av ett barn från för någon månad [...]

  4. [...] att publicera bilder på nakna barn. Att det i USA är en stor försiktighet kring det. Jag är medveten om att det är så där. För man är rädd att bilderna ska användas fel av hemska pedofiler antar jag då. Rädsla [...]

  5. [...] att publicera bilder på nakna barn. Att det i USA är en stor försiktighet kring det. Jag är medveten om att det är så där. För man är rädd att bilderna ska användas fel av hemska pedofiler antar jag då. Rädsla [...]

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