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Bill Henson, Again (I'm Not Done)

I have found an image of you from Bill Henson's show.

It is the image that's flashed around on the TV, the safe image. It is of you, child, but your personality has been stripped from it. Your face is blocked out. The media doesn't care who you are. It has silenced you. It doesn't bother to ask you what you think. You are too young to think, too young to have an opinion and so they have rendered you nothing. They have made you nothing but your body, but your slimness. Your breasts have been hidden, however. Doing such a thing speaks to society's desire to render parts of you taboo, to say, in a fashion, that these pieces of flesh which grow upon you at a certain age must be hidden, must be of concern for you. Don't show them. Hide them. Having them renders you a sexual object. We know you can't control having them, and for that we're sorry, so we'll do what you want, and remove them, we'll take steps to hide them and render you a safe object. It's your safety we're concerned for, which is why we deny you any personality. It is for your safety that we black out your breasts, but leave the curve of your hips, and shoulders, for we know there is nothing sexual about them. Just breasts. We're glad your hands hide your vagina, too. We would call it cunt, but such a word also comes with connotations we are not secure in connecting with one of your age, but nevertheless, your hands, they hide your vagina, and for that we applaud your decency. You were only born with it. It's not your fault that it's there. Cover it up, child, hide it so that no one can see it, make it secretive, turn it into something that when seen makes men and women explode in sexual urges and want to treat you as nothing but a faceless lump of flesh they wish to fuck.

Now, if you don't mind, I have a video of Saddam Hussein's execution to show you. You may have seen it on the news, uncensored.

(Thanks to Kirsten (fearofemeralds) for the pic--and you can read her post here, too.)


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May. 27th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)
Thank you. Yes.

And I choose not to click on the Flashblock icon and watch the execution thanks.
But I have seen some of the original photos and they are remarkable works of art. They do make me uneasy, as has Henson's work in the past, but that's the mark of good art. fearofemeralds' post that you link to is fantastic.
May. 27th, 2008 01:59 am (UTC)
yes, i imagine we could all go through life without seeing an execution shot on a camera phone.

k's post is all good, tho.
May. 27th, 2008 02:50 am (UTC)

she should sue the media.
May. 27th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
May. 27th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
The smh online has run the original picture.

I'm not so sure of the arguments. I don't think it's so much about denying adolescents have a sexuality as saying they should be left alone to work it out, as opposed to parading it for reasons not their own. (Or shaping it to the whims of advertisers, for that matter.)

I also believe there are those who can cope with being the focus of that attention, and those who wouldn't be able to. There has to be a dividing line somewhere, and it's certainly not going to suit everybody, but while it's being debated, some caution seems sensible.
May. 27th, 2008 06:47 am (UTC)
I agree.
May. 27th, 2008 06:48 am (UTC)
(Which is not to say I'm in favour of sending the police in as a first step.)
Jun. 3rd, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
Excellent post, Ben. Beautifully worded.

It seems symptomatic of the society in which we live that these days we focus on completely the wrong issues while subjects that should concern us deeply go unaddressed.

That's what is criminal.

Steve N. Lee
author of eco-blog http://www.lionsledbysheep.com
Jun. 4th, 2008 12:34 am (UTC)
thanks, man. glad you dug it.
Jun. 21st, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
Bill is the official Oz pimp

What NAVA are saying is that 13 year olds have ageny to pimp themselves to a unionized pimp, if they try to do it themselves, then that's very wrong. So the same 'agency' used to self-publish, that's a crime, not art, real prob, it is ok for one o their registered perv artists to do it. They're a union for child pornographers. They can't have kids doing stuff on their own, that cuts the kiddie porn professionals out of their share of the loot.
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