Art Censorship public forum: Burnside, Marr, Johnston, Hamilton, Howard, Bond
Art Censorship: the Bigger Picture was the title of this public forum that took place on 12th June at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. In this informed, thoughtful and sometimes passionate debate, Julian Burnside, David Marr, Clive Hamilton, Hetty Johnston, Ian Howard and Tony Bond addressed the topic in light of the furore surrounding recent censorship of the work of well-known artist Bill Henson. The forum, introduced by Margaret Pomeranz, was presented by Watch on Censorship in association with the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA). Sydney, June 2008
(Part 1 of 4) (Introduction, Ian Howard, Tony Bond)
I was not in Australia when this happened, so in some ways this is catch up time. I am happy that I have had the opportunity to listen to this discussion.
It appears that however wellmeaning, the opinions stated by the woman from the child protection agency (cpa) are coloured by her lack of understanding about art and her ignorance of Henson and his photography, an ignorance that she openly admits. A senior artist and his work have been taken out of context and dragged through the media for the apparent purpose of drawing attention to the activities of the cpa. It looks very much like a well intentioned publicity stunt gone horribly wrong. Ed.