Peripetatic bits of stuff seen by Mayhem in Sydney, a bit of a work in Progress
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Reasons to emigrate
Thanks to Ruark Lewis for this image above. If *only* I had more time I'm sure shcappylle could have arranged something with Uncle Kev on a similar theme....
Is it necessary for me to join the chorus of people stating the bloody obvious - that the censorship of Hensons' show, the police intervention, the media fueled witch hunt is about as disgusting and scary as the SIEV X hypocrisy? I do not have a single shred of faith that *any* of the commentators actually give a damn about the prevention of childhood sexual abuse, but have found the unnverving and creepy aspects of Henson's images (and they *are* unnerving and creepy) a convenient excuse to insist on shunting adolescent sexuality into some sort of 4WD padded secretive suburban purda...
I *really* HATE how the child sexual abuse issue gets dragged into some smug suburban censorship push. Is it just me who feels fundamentally that it is the hidden clothed unit of the FAMILY where most child sexual abuse occurs? Is it just me who pukes at the thought of kiddies locked away in family homes, suburban cars, clean surfaces, singlets tucked into underpants, arms tucked above sheets, and freaky secular fatwahs on nudity, masturbation and pre-pubescent smut? I stopped attending reclaim the night marches 10 years ago when they got hijacked by a bunch of born again Xtians who claimed that Jesus saved them from the shame of being diddled by a bunch of satanic suburban child molesters.... somehow the personal is political feminist ideal got co-opted into 'the personal is transcendental' garbage - that still left me feeling just as confused, powerless, isolated and enraged as I did as a child.
for what it's worth - Henson's images are deliberately and consciously *creepy* due to a canny mobilisation of caravaggio-esque lighting - funny bits of collage - which interrupt any clear pictorial sense of what his images depict, ambiguous juxtaposition of decaying car bodies and naked torsos and limbs of wan youf - sans heads or eye contact, not to mention dark scrub and moody sunsets. He's utilising a lot of standard pictorial devices for evoking unease, coy eroticism and death that date from Post-Renaissance Western Art History 101. How the affective complex associated stylised unnnerving ambiguity can be reduced translated into hit and click pay per view kiddie porn is something that only the smugly distorted mind of cretinous copper or toxic swill such as my favourite gutter journo and yours could possibly fathom.
I believe culture works - when it gives a space for a collective and public expression of messy feelings of ambiguity fear and confusion. Seeing images that are both repellent and sexy, that arouse, disgust and disturb us - *can* give us space to feel and acknowledge difficult feelings and experiences are also sites for connection and communication. Ten foot high collaged prints of compellingly confusing images placed in a public venue like an art gallery OPERATE entirely differently to small pictorial snapshots on a computer screen in someone's home. they operate to disturb us - but this public disturbance can create a space for public recognition and discourse about stuff that's usually snuffled and denied.
On a proactive note: some bright sparkshave set up a blog petition - so please click and hit and add your name.
I've been buried in the bowels of academia of late - which explains my lack of posting. I've been seeing some nice art lately tho - but..... haven't had time to post about it .... bummer