Would Jock Sturges be arrested/hassled today?
It was 1990 when internationally known photographer Jock Sturges had the FBI visit his studio and cart off much of his work and gear. This happened in San Francisco as a result of a lab technician calling police to report 'questionable photos' of juveniles. The lab manager (if memory serves correctly) was held for a couple of days. Sturges studio was invaded by FBI who carted his stuff off, ruining a lot of photo paper, film and negatives in the process. It was dragged out and finally everything was returned and no charges were ever filed.
With the worry today of kiddie porn, could this happen again?
Of course it would.
I didn't know it was a lab technician that did the job... what a jerk ! That's why I develop and print myself all the illegal porn stuff I shoot...
I dont see any difference between 1990 and 2006. Its not like some sort of cultural or legislative revolution too place since then.
Sure it can. All it takes is a zealous prosecutor, or someone in authority (however slight) that has higher aspirations. Take the current fiasco at Duke University as an example. When the case proves to have no merit, sometimes there is an apology, but more often, not one. A smart agent or prosecutor would thoroughly research the merits before making a move.
Of course he would, we are a less tolerant, more cynical society.
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Originally Posted by roteague
I am much more cautious nowadays about shooting photos of kids on the street etc. than I once was. Times have changed. People are much more suspiscious. And I am now an "older" man (i.e. "perv with camera") when I'm out there shooting.
Sad reality - that isn't going to change for the better - at least in my lifetime.
Funny thing, I used to work at the lab in question (Newell Color Lab) just a few years before the polemic. I certainly do remember seeing work go through that lab (a good lab, by the way) which would have been considered a lot "harder" than Sturges' images. Plus, San Francisco isn't exactly the bastion of prudish conservatism .. Looks as though somebody must have had a bad day in the QC department!
Anyway, to be clear, child pornography didn't just become an issue with the Jock Sturges case. Neither is it unique to the U.S. Right now, here in France, a case is just coming to trial as a result of a lawsuit filed in 2000 by a French child pornography watchdog association called "La Mouette" (The Gull) against Bordeaux's contemporary art museum, CAPC, for their exhibit entitled "Presumés Innocents".
Here's a re-write/translation/condensation I did for the forum from the
information I gleaned from googling (SOURCES:http://www.art-themagazine.com/pages/paris3.htm, http://www.artcult.com/nf135.html):
"Presumés Innocents" was a group show presented from June 8 to October 1, 2000, as being about childhood— but the suit charges that it was more about child pornography and violence against children (I never saw the exhibit, so can't make any comments about the pieces shown).
The two hundred paintings, photographs, videos and other installations
presented by the CAPC during the four month exhibit were created by world-famous artists such as Nan Goldin, Garry Gross, Christian Boltanski, Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley, Annette Messager, Tony Oursler ... among others, and the group wants the artists not only to explain what their message is to a judge, but is demanding that several of the pieces be destroyed (!!).
The association is asserting that some of the images bordered on being pedophilia, while at the same time, the exhibit had been visited by 1500 school children (my comment: Does that mean they're afraid of creating "child pedophiles?" ..or am I missing something?)
The museum feels that the charges are without basis and that they are in fact an impingement on the freedom of expression and the dignity of the artists, especially since the museum took the trouble to post a large "warning" sign at the entrance of the exhibit and, moreover, school visits were done with the accompaniment of adults and guides, and that certain pieces which might be consider too shocking, where avoided.
Here is a list of the artists:
SHERMAN, Cindy (1954- ) / WARHOL, Andy (1928-1987) / BOLTANSKI, Christian (1944- ) / DIJKSTRA, Rineke (1959- ) / PARADEIS, Florence (1964- ) / GASKELL, Anna / LÉVÈQUE, Claude (1953- ) / CATTELAN, Maurizio (1960- ) / MOFFATT, Tracey (1960- ) / McCARTHY, Paul (1945- ) / HYBERT, Fabrice (1961- ) / MESSAGER, Annette (1943- ) / RULLIER, Jean-Jacques / GOBER, Robert (1954- ) / GORDON, Douglas (1966- ) / BENNING, Sadie / OURSLER, Tony (1957- ) / WEINER, Lawrence (1942- ) / TILLMANS, Wolfgang (1968- ) / HÖLLER, Carsten (1961- ) / BEECROFT, Vanessa (1969- ) / LAVIER, Bertrand (1949- ) / KELLEY, Mike (1954- ) / BULLOCH, Angela (1966- ) / JOSEPH, Pierre (1965- ) / MANTELLO, Larry / RONDINONE, Ugo (1964- ) / SÉCHAS, Alain (1955- ) / STOKKER, Lily van der (1954- ) / DARGER, Henry / BOURGEOIS, Louise (1911- ) / GOLDIN, Nan (1953- ) / KILIMNIK, Karen (1955- ) / THORNTON, Leslie / COLLISHAW, Mat / MORELLET, François (1926- ) / TROCKEL, Rosemarie (1952- ) / STARR, Georgina (1968- ) / RAYNAUD, Jean-Pierre (1933- ) / COMBAS, Robert / CLOSKY, Claude (1963- ) / DUNNING, Jeanne (1960- ) / BOCHNER, Mel (1940- ) / DUMAS, Marlene (1953- ) / CLARK, Larry (1943- ) / GONZALEZ-FOERSTER, Dominque (1965- ) / QUARDON, Françoise / BREUNING, Olaf (1970- ) / PARRENO, Philippe (1946- ) / SCHER, Julia / LAMSWEERDE, Inez van (1963- ) / GETTE, Paul-Armand / KLAT / PEYTON, Elizabeth (1965- ) / Arte e infancia-Exposicións / KRYSTUFEK, Elke (1970- ) / DELLER, Jeremy / SCHORR, Collier / BARTOLOMÉO, Joël (1957- ) / ROSENBERG, Aura / ACKERMANN, Rita / SHRIGLEY, David (1968- ) / EDMIER, Keith (1967- ) / OATES, Daniel / BONIN, Cosima von / HOMMA, Takashi / JAMIE, Cameron (1969- ) / COMTE, Serge / DELIBIOT, Marie-Céline / GASTALDON, Vidya & WICKER, Jean-Michel / GODARD, Jean-Luc & MIEVILLE, Anne-Marie / GOLDBERG, Mara / GONZALES, Mark / GROSS, Gary / KORINE, Harmony / MILTOS, Manetas / MARTÍNEZ, Roberto (1981- )
Last edited by Christopher Nisperos; 11-21-2006 at 12:57 PM. Click to view previous post history.
a acquaintance in boston had a similar thing happen to her around 1997+/-. she brought film to a well respected lab just to be processed, and the tech printed them and called the cops. the cops then did their thing, and told their 5 year old kid ( who the photographs were of ) that he was going to be taken away from his parents ... it would happen today in a heartbeat ...
Pedophiles use digital nowadays, that's why its common to find news articles of countries around the world where the police busts groups of people with questionable material in their hard drives.
Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
no digital additives and shit
Things have changed beyond all recognition in the UK since 1990. I have a book called the Darkroom Book by Jack Scofield. In the section on using the perfect neg for colour filtration he uses as an example a picture of a naked small child with its back to the camera in a garden leaning over a playpool with different coloured plastic building blocks.
Can you imagine any author using such a picture today to illustrate the range of colours including flesh colours for a perfect neg? Photography books not so long ago were full of what was considered amusing shots of naked kids in fountains, pools and beaches
Another example: There's a marvellous Victorian kids' roundabout in the Isle of Man that's powered by water. Its speed can be controlled by other kids or parents by a lever which controls the flow of water. Such things are preserved and not vandalised there.
I was waiting for a couple of kids to get on the roundabout before taking the picture, otherwise it's just a piece of machinery. My wife said: " You're too late, you can't take it now. There's a couple of kids about to get on it.
It stopped me in my tracks. I waited until they got off.
The dual tragedy is that: 1. 10-15 years ago she would never have said that but did so thinking this was the "right" thing to say and not realising that she wouldn't have said it 10-15 years ago
2. I decided she was right. It was safer not to take it