Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bill Henson Assessment

Uni is starting back on the 1st of March, because of the time DID takes up in my life I am currently only studying one subject through distance education. This semester its "Developmental Psychology". Since I already have my subject outline I have started my readings and more importantly my first assessment.

The assessment is a expert testimonial in response to a newspaper article on the sexualisation of children. This particular article is in response to the Bill Henson scandal in 2008. Those interested in reading the article can do so here.  For those of you who do not know who Bill Henson is he is a famous Australian photographer. This "scandal" came about when in May 2008, his exibition was closed due to allegations that his work was child pornography. Some people went as far as to call him a peadophile. The photos in the exibition included naked photos of a girl who was around 12 years old.

I am finding this an interesting subject and my views on Bill Henson's artwork are very conflicted. I personally love painting and drawing and have always been drawn to art. I believe that art is an expression of so many things and some of these things are often confronting, as is the case with Bill Henson's work. I think its unfair to classify Henson as a peadophile - based solely on these "artworks" (Im still not convinced whether they are not) however I do believe that Bill Henson went too far.

As far as my personal opinion of the artwork - well, there were a few pieces I was fond of - some close ups of just a girl's face and the shadow and lighting on it was beautiful and interesting Such as this one and this one. Though none of is work was really something that amazed me and I would add to my favourites. As far as the photos of the nude child - well the few I have seen I thought the were distastful and there was nothing special about the photography itself. But that is just my opinion.

My alts were less open to the idea that Henson's work was art. They found it disturbing. It is not unsual for me to have different tastes to my alts - that includes food (one alt is a vegetarian), art, TV programs and what is considered fun. However in this case one alt in particular response was extreme. She is 6 years old and often is sad as a she deals with some of my worst memories. While her vocabulary is that of a 6 year old, she occasionally expresses herself beyond that of a 6 yo. That isnt unsual for my alts, some of them say they are one age but act completely different from that age. Anyway, back to Bill Henson.

To help my study I borrowed a book called "The Henson Case" by David Marr, which contains a few of the photos. I also printed some articles to read through. The 6 year old decided she disliked the whole thing so much that she took the book and the articles and through them in the recycle bin! Luckly I found them and dug it all out. However she came back out and put them back in the bin. Each time I would take them out she would "come out" and put them back. I finally was able to convince her that I needed it and that she couldnt simply recycle books she didnt like - especially those I dont own.

We now have an agreement, I need to tell her before I start working on the assessment so she can go to her "room". Once I am finished she can come out and have some play time.

Another time I will have to explain about the "room" system however its 3am and I should try and get some sleep. Plus I think this post is long enough!

EDIT 19/3/10 - I finally got around to posting about the "room" system - if you would like to have a look check  here


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