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  1. #11
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv
    The other question we wish to consider is whether pornography can be antithetical to art. IF it is porno, then is it AUTOMATICALLY not art? For some people it's one or the other. I'd be more inclined to believe that there are things such as porno and not-porno, the same way there are things such as art and not-art.

    Art is more in the making of things, not in its subject matter. If everything that wasn't art was porno, then a highway would be pornographic!
    How about "if you wait long enough everything is art."


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  2. #12
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    Somewhat along the lines of what David said, I can add a couple more creative reasons for dismissing a photographer of long standing with a publication. His work may be perfect and wonderful, but a newly hired editor, art director etc. may find the photographers style is not to his personal liking. He then creates a reason to fire then hire his own personal
    choice of photographers. Another that hits the longe time photographer is his earning power may have reached the point of diminishing return to the publisher, they can bring in a younger person with less skill to replace the "old Pro" for far less expenditure. Even with the new comers errors and mistakes they can train him to do what they want for far less cost to them.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    It would not at all be out of line to think that the photographer was not let go for being too explicit in fashion work, but for one of these two reasons I suggest.

  3. #13
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    How about "if you wait long enough everything is art."


    Michael

    That's the gist of it. I hope not everything becomes porno otherwise we won't see the end of censorship.

  4. #14

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    Didn't someone say on a long-ago thread that if a nude is in focus it's pornography but if it's out of focus it's art?

  5. #15
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    To paraphrase May West, the difference between art and pornography is good lighting.

  6. #16

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    There is no perfectly acceptable definition of pornography that I know of. Still, here's a try: a photograph is pornographic when the main intent behind it is to create sexual excitement. It's "good" porn when it accomplishes this and "bad" porn when it does not. (Clearly what counts as good porn for person X can count as bad porn for person Z.) So defined, pornagraphy is not inherently immoral, unless one thinks that sexual desire is inherently immoral, a fuddy duddy view if ever there was one.

    A number of people have tried to differentiate "porn" from "eroticism", with the former being inherently evil and the latter being at least acceptable. In my experience these types of distinctions depend on very controverial views of degradation: What my grandmother thought was degrading is vastly different from what Jerry Springer apparently thinks. This devolves the issue into a matter of taste, and while that may be enough to decide whether a specific individual should look at or create certain pictures, it's clearly not a good enough reason to say that such pictures shouldn't be made or looked at by others.

    Often in these debates, people claim that one shouldn't treat another person as an object. As a moral claim, this goes back to Kant's Categorical Imperative, one form of which went as follows: don't treat other people *only* as a means to your own ends.
    Notice the "only". Of course it's OK to treat other people as means. I treat my employer as a means to make money, just as she does the same to me. It's not treating someone as a means that's the problem. It's treating them only as a means that is, because when you do this you're treating a person in a way that should be reserved for objects, things without the capacity for moral action.

    The Categorical Imprative, though, is a little opaque. I suggest that it means something like the following: don't treat other people in a way that a rational person wouldn't agree to unless coerced. Sure, that's not perfectly clear, since there's no universally acceptable definition of "rational". Nonetheless, this definition gives us some idea of what Kant was up to.

    So if people are forced to take part in making pornographic pictures, that's bad; and if they don't have a decent understanding as to what's involved, or what implications of such participation might be, then that's bad too. But if neither of those things apply, then the Categorical Imparative doesn't support a condemnation of porn. Hence, one can't reasonably condemn a work of pornography as being immoral simply by saying "it's treating people as objects!" After all, basketball treats people as objects. Imagine something that is not an object making a three pointer or getting a rebound.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt
    There is no perfectly acceptable definition of pornography that I know of. Still, here's a try: a photograph is pornographic when the main intent behind it is to create sexual excitement.
    IMHO the critical element is "appeals to prurient interest." The photographer may have some self-serving notion that he or she is making art, but if the audience uses it partly to gratify lascivious longings, it's partly porn.

    I'm alarmed at how puritanical American culture is becoming, but I'm equally alarmed at how sexual exploitation gets such frequent cover in circular arguments about art and artiness. Or just cover in pagefuls of "nice tones" comments at photo.net.

  8. #18
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    Testosterone is manufactured at an enormous rate in the human male to the point of him almost being insatiable.

    Anybody with any sense would have gotten in the porn business the minute they figured out why Victoria Secret needed to print so many catalogues.

    Therefore, almost any image can be used for prurient purposes at any given time. In fact the more repressive the society the worse it becomes.

    Therefore the art/porn debate is pretty much useless, because they're virtually interchangeable depending on the excess testosterone the viewer has accumulated at the moment of viewing.

    However to a 60 year old women with cats, it is all pretty obvious. It's all filth.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  9. #19

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    If you bought it at Christies, it's art. If you bought it at the 7-11 it's porn.

  10. #20
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    I'm thinking of some of the recently posted work to our gallery by "Faye" out of Scotland. To me it is beautifully done and not even remotely related to porn. I would wager if it were hung in a gallery in Salt Lake City, she would be burned at the stake. If submitted to a porn magazine for consideration, it would end up in the trash without a second look.


    Funny to see law and moral values trying to mix and then find a verbal description which is concrete and universal, it just can't happen. The comment about the Taliban was very humorous to me. Would love to see a pamphlet dropped over there showing nothing but ankles with frilly lace. Perhaps those guys would all take a break for chicken choking and forget to blow things up for a day or two. I guess it is similar to what Austrailia says about American T.V. "Sex and violence" there's too much violence and not enough sex. tim

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