In the words of the artist

You remember my friend the photographer that I wrote about yesterday. She allowed me to publish her respons to the organizers of the art competition, where she explains why it is wrong of them to supress her photograph of her daughter. So here goes, in the words of the artist:

Dear xxx,

I shall change the thumbnail (to let you know I haven’t decided yet if I will just re-crop it so the image starts at the child’s shoulders or change the image completely), but I would like to comment upon this first.

You and your organization are asking me to change the thumbnail due to its ”sensitive nature”. Clicking through ”View the Work” and seeing the other thumbnails, there are erotic images, nude images, an image of a man masturbating on the street. Wouldn’t these also be considered of a ”sensitive nature”? If you censor me, then where else can the censorship go? Why not ask the other artists to choose different thumbnails as well? Is my image more sensitive because it is of a child? I would like to point out that the image is not a  full frontal of a child. She is not in a compromising pose. She isn’t being manipulated into being photographed. She isn’t acting inappropriately or overly sexual. She is just being her.

We bring our own preconceptions to this particular image. Which is why I choose it in the first place. It challenges the viewer. I have had many different responses to this image from it being seductive to it being the essence of childhood innocence. Isn’t the response more of an intimate look at the viewer than anything else?

I understand the world we live in. I understand that you are most likely asking me to change the image because it depicts a nude child, and with the child pornography laws we have in this country (as well as around the world), you are most likely just trying to protect the organization this competition is run through. But what is art if not to challenge perspectives and boundaries within cultures? Where would Sally Mann’s work be if she had tried to release her images in today’s climate?

I believe that, by you censoring me, asking me to change the image you (as well as I because I am conceding to your wishes) are contributing to what we believe we are trying to protect. I would NEVER hurt or endanger a child. But I believe that I am contributing to the climate of violence and abuse by stifling this image. When we change this image we contribute to the world of fear we have created. Every child; boy or girl, every adult; man or woman, are sensual and sexual beings, while at the same time innocent, naive and carefree. By silencing the conversation resulting from the exposure to this image, we are stopping understanding, we are stopping acceptance, we are stopping our voices. By denying this image (or any image like this one, any image that challenges the viewer) we create fear and misunderstanding. Fear creates anger. Anger creates violence. Thusly the cycle begins and continues.

So let me ask you one last time before I change this image – Do you want to change the world or do you want to make it even grayer?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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.

Söndagspanelen 7/6 – min uppfattning

Barstol hittade jag följande små tankelekar som jag inte kunde låta bli att delta i.

Om du fick hänga en originalmålning på din vardagsrumsvägg, utan att ta hänsyn till pris eller andra förvärvshinder, vilken skulle det då vara?

:

The Waterloo Bridge The Fog, Claude Monet
The Waterloo Bridge The Fog, Claude Monet

Hur står det till med naturintresset?

: Jo tack bara bra! Särskilt om det vankas svampplockning eller bad.

Sätt ihop ditt eget “Travelling Wilburys” – hur ser din supergrupp ut?

: Sång: Freddie Mercury
Gitarr: Mick Ronson
Bas: Sting
Trummor: John Bonham