Talkback hasn’t been this highbrow since P-ss Christ. Following is a selection of the art critique hitting the air waves.
ABC Newcastle, Mornings, 27/05/2008 09:44AM Compere: Garth Russell
Caller Linda comments on the scandal over the Bill Henson photographs explaining why she blames TV and the media for making the issues a scandal, and doing more harm to the model than the photographer did.
ABC 612 Brisbane, Mornings, 27/05/2008 09:07AM Compere: Madonna King
Caller Kerry says some of Henson’s work is edgy and the aesthetics are often very dark and dream like. Caller Kerry says p-rnography is explicit. Caller Kerry says people are jumping to conclusions too quickly. Caller Kerry asks if people have lost the ability to see beauty in n-ked people.
2GB Sydney, Breakfast, 27/05/2008 08:57AM Compere: Alan Jones
Caller Chris says many people commenting on [Bill Henson’s] photos haven’t seen them. Chris previously served in the NSW Police. He says he has arrested people he had seen m-sturbating to Anne Geddes photos. He says ‘accessibility of those sorts of things on the internet is something that really needs to be looked at’. Jones agrees, and says ‘the gallery’ is a soft target.
2GB Sydney, Breakfast, 27/05/2008 06:29AM Compere: Alan Jones
Caller Dianne says the girl [in Bill Henson’s photographs] was obviously young, and the poses were ‘sultry’.
2GB Sydney, Breakfast, 27/05/2008 06:16AM Compere: Alan Jones
Caller Harley says yesterday Jones made his blood boil by justifying Bill Henson’s photos of adolescent girls. Harley says Jones ‘outspun the Labor Party’. Jones says he hasn’t seen the photos. He says he doesn’t want a selective debate, and if people want to complain about this, they should complain about advertising, pop music and what’s available on the internet and at news stands.
ABC 774 Melbourne, Evenings, 26/05/2008 08:47PM Compere: Derek Guille
Guille is joined by Fiona Scott-Norman, comedian, Guille asks how one tells the difference between art and p-rnography. He asks listeners if they consider any of Bill Henson’s, artist, work as child p-rnography. Caller Chris says the difference between art and porn is wine and beer. He wonders if one day baby clothes catalogue will be banned. Hosts mention photographer Anne Geddes.
2GB Sydney, Afternoons, 26/05/2008 03:32PM Compere: Chris Smith
Caller Dorothy says that the photographs by Bill Henson, Australian Photographer, are “disgusting”. Dorothy says that the art works should be burned in Nuremberg style rallies in a “big bonfire”. Dorothy says that “all these paintings and artworks, Barry Humphries, you know…Ken Done, all these people, get all their rubbish, put it on one big thing and burn the whole lot of it”.
2CC Canberra, The Drive Show, 26/05/2008 03:26PM Compere: Mike Welsh
Talkback caller Lyle says no one needs to take photographs of naked children. He says Bill Henson’s photographs are p-edophilia.
5AA Adelaide, Afternoons, 26/05/2008 02:17PM Compere: Amanda Blair
Blair says the art world discusses pushing boundaries. Greenaway says it is naive to think children are not aware of their s-xuality. Caller Steve says it is outrageous that Bill Henson’s work is being censored. He says he finds his pieces mild compared to Jock Sturgess and David hamilton. Steve says just because a young person is n-de, does not make it p-rnography. Greenaway suspects Kevin Rudd has not seen the pics, but if you want to go to artnet.com or tolano.com(*). Caller Bruce says he was a councillor and a painting of a n-ked lady with a gun to her head was displayed in a local gallery, to which he objected. He says the Messenger reported on it and patronage went through the roof. Caller Lois says she didn’t think anything of the photos of the exhibition. She says the photos are not s-xually provocative. Caller Marcus says Blair says Kevin Rudd says a photo of a 14yo is disgusting, whereas Marcus interprets the production of the photographs as disgusting.
2UE Sydney, Afternoons, 26/05/2008 01:44PM Compere: Tim Webster
Webster is joined by Joseph Grassi, Lamrocks Solicitors and Attorneys. Caller Jeremy talks about the art of Bill Henson, Australian photo artist, and whether it is photography. Jeremy says that the legislative definition of pornography could cover some advertisements. Jeremy says that many people are judging the photographs without even seeing the work. Jeremy says that, as a photographer, he finds some of the things which earlier callers said offensive. Grassi says that attitudes towards children and the protection of children before the law has changed since decades ago. Webster says that parents are not even allowed to photograph children at sports or school events.
ABC 720 Perth, Mornings, 26/05/2008 11:56AM Compere: Geoff Hutchison
Caller Cynthia is currently working on a sculpture of a n-ked little boy, modelled on her husband’s grandchild. She did actually consider taking photos first to work with but her sensitivity antenna said, not a good idea. Cynthia has seen Bill Henson’s photographs, and as a mother of a daughter who wanted to do modelling at one stage, Cynthia’s antenna twitched also and she did not feel good about it.
ABC 720 Perth, Mornings, 26/05/2008 11:54AM Compere: Geoff Hutchison
Caller Jay was very disgusted by Bill Henson’s photos of n-de adolescent girls. He says it is borderline p-rnographic.
ABC 720 Perth, Mornings, 26/05/2008 11:25AM Compere: Geoff Hutchison
Caller Marc says there are lots of parents from other countries who consent their children to be sold into prostitution, slavery, etc. So parental consent is not always a good argument re Bill Henson’s photographs of n-de adolescent girls. Hutchison says when Johnson & Johnson are talking about baby powder, they run pictures and advertisements of naked babies, and so might there not be an argument that says that is inappropriate too. Marc reckons they have toned down their ads a bit over the past few years.
ABC North Coast NSW (Lismore), Mornings, 26/05/2008 10:30AM Compere: Vicki Kerrigan
Caller Steve says Bill Henson is absolutely credentialed as an artist. He compares the photo exhibition to the album cover from Led Zeppelin of ‘Houses of the Holy’ in the 1970s.
ABC North Coast NSW (Lismore), Mornings, 26/05/2008 10:27AM Compere: Vicki Kerrigan
Caller Michelle does not see the Bill Henson photos as p-rn. She thinks it is ridiculous what has gone on regarding the photos.
ABC Goulburn Murray (Wodonga), Mornings, 26/05/2008 09:57AM Compere: Joseph Thomsen
Caller Christine says in no way are Bill Henson’s photos acceptable, and anything involving naked children under 16 should be questioned. Caller says the parents need to be questioned.
2GB Sydney, Breakfast, 26/05/2008 08:46AM Compere: Alan Jones
Caller Carol says Bill Henson’s photographs are disturbing not because of the n-dity but the ‘dark, sinister’ mood of the children. She says she wants someone to explain to her what he was trying to achieve, and the photos made her feel very uncomfortable. She doesn’t think they’re pornographic.
ABC 666 Canberra, Breakfast, 26/05/2008 08:43AM Compere: Ross Solly
Talkback caller John says that the Jim Henson exhibition is pornographic. John says that back when he was a teen, photographic magazines were bought by boys looking at n-ked women.
ABC 774 Melbourne, Breakfast, 26/05/2008 06:44AM Compere: Red Symons
Caller Rick says, in relation to Bill Henson’s, Photographer, latest exhibition, that ‘all these wowzers need to take a cold shower’. Rick cites works by Norman Lindsay, Artist, who depicts nymphs.
2GB Sydney, Weekend Wireless, 25/05/2008 09:42AM Compere: Luke Bona
Caller, Graham, is a musician and criticises photographer Bill Henson for his photos of naked teenagers. Bona mentions Michaelangelo and his pictures and sculptures of n-ked children and wonders if that was pornography. Caller says it probably was and the Church is ‘a funny place’. Mentions petrol prices saying cutting the price by 5c a litre will not make much of a difference. Says govt should ensure that the big oil companies are not allowed to make billions of dollars of profit at other people’s expense. Bona agrees and says expert David Berthon believes the price rise will be catastrophic for economy.
2UE Sydney, Drive, 23/05/2008 03:37PM Compere: John Stanley
Caller Tony says the Bill Henson photos are ‘disgusting’ and can’t be compared to the statue of David in Italy, as Stanley has done earlier in the show. Tony says these photos can easily find their way onto the internet. He says he has seen the full frontal photos of young females on the News Ltd site and ‘the guy that was taking the photos is sick in the head’. Tony says Stanley has been trying to say that people have to be intelligent to appreciate the art in such photos.