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Proposed Rules for Children in Art Spark Upset in Australia [Nov. 15th, 2008|12:34 pm]
Bob Bain
[Current Mood |hothot]

According to ArtInfo November 14th.

SYDNEY—The Australia Council has released a draft set of guidelines for the depiction of naked or semi-naked children in artwork, Australia's ABC News reports. The protocols require that artists obtain full consent from parents and submit it to the council. Kathy Keele, the council's CEO, said artists may also need to apply to the Classification Board before such images are publicly released. And artists will also need to obtain parents' commitment to direct supervision of the child while he or she is naked.

But artists have already decried the protocols, saying that rules are too restrictive, particularly for street photographers. "There are many documentary and photojournalist photographers who work in this way, and you have a group of people and in the middle of that group maybe there is a naked child or a semi-naked child," said Sandy Edwards, a Sydney curator and photographer.

"It is just unreasonable to expect that once the photographer gets back to the dark room, processes the work — or gets back to the computer — that that image can actually be okayed by somebody who is a stranger in the photograph," she added.

Ken Duncan, a member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers, said there are already too many restrictions on photographers at federal, state, and local levels. "You know, it is just stupidity," he said.

and according to The Age

Joyce Morgan November 14, 2008

ALL photographs of children clothed or unclothed will have to be cleared by the children's parents or guardians before they can be exhibited.

That is one problematic aspect of sweeping guidelines designed to protect children depicted in works of art.

It has prompted a key visual arts organisation to describe as "unworkable" elements of draft protocols drawn up after of controversy over Bill Henson's photography.

Tamara Winikoff, executive director of the National Association for the Visual Arts, said that requiring artists working with all children under 15 years to get parental permission was restrictive.

"That's problematic, particularly for people like documentary photographers who work in the street," Ms Winikoff said. "At the moment there are no restrictions on taking crowd photographs or photographs of people in the street without their permission … This would impose a very, very unreasonable restriction."

and according to David Marr in the Sydney Morning Herald 14th. November 2008

But the draft protocols reach far wider. They will affect the exhibition and distribution of any photograph of any child - naked or partly naked - taken in this country in the past 25 years. While proposed by the Australia Council, these rules are likely to become the benchmark for all arts funding bodies across Australia.