||[Jul. 7th, 2008|06:12 am]
From The Age this morning
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?"'
From the Sydney Morning Herald this morning
THE Premier and the Prime Minister are again appalled, but a young girl photographed nude by her mother says the image, on the cover of the latest Arts Monthly Australia, is her favourite.
In the latest row over the depiction of nude children, Morris Iemma and the state Opposition Leader, Barry O'Farrell, are so offended by the nude pictures of a young girl they want the magazine that published them stripped of federal funding. Kevin Rudd said he could not stand them.
But the girl says the picture is her favourite image and still hangs in the house.
"She just enjoys it. It's acting. She just loves it," said the 11-year-old girl's father, Robert Nelson. "Poli [Polixeni Papapetrou, the girl's mother] wrote a doctoral thesis on this. It's a highly researched body of work."
BTW Mr. Rudd - I am still awaiting a reply to my correspondence regarding why it is I'm sitting on a "box of 10" videotapes taken to the OFLC on the instructions of the former State Attorney General for New South Wales (now home affairs Minister and Minister for Censorship in the Federal Government) and which contains an item of extreme rape with a pole inserted into the anus (or vagina) of a woman writhing in agony in the dirt and described as "not offensive" by officers of the OFLC and returned to me as being of no concern in 2004. Even Hetty Johnston expressed disgust when I explained this to her (at the Bill Henson art debate) and although we didn't speak for anything more than 30 seconds there are issues that remain unresolved.
I spoke briefly to a barrister about it on Thursday.