Pornography or art?

You decide:

I’ll give it away: it is art. Apparently. This is the photo, deredactie.be reports, that has been found as a so-called ‘temporary file’ on the personal computer of Cardinal Danneels. It is called ‘La Douche II’ and is the product of one Laura Baudoux. Many heralded it as possible proof that the cardinal had been involved in shady business with pedophiles and possibly child rapist Dutroux as well.

Whatever the context, it’s not a pleasant sight, that photo. But now that it is known to be ‘art’ it is apparently suddenly okay to look at a naked child who, let’s face it, looks far from healthy. It probably says more about the state of modern art and society’s understanding of art than it does about the browsing habits of any bishops or cardinal.

Go, check you’re own computer. You’ll probably have a stack of temporary files, many of which will be quite unknown to you. Some may even be as disturbing as the one found on Cardinal Danneels’ computer.

In the meantime, the courts in Belgium have yet to find anything incriminating in the official and personal documents of dioceses and bishops, or even to explain the legality of their raid of two weeks ago.

8 thoughts on “Pornography or art?”

  1. It’s clear some people also *want* to see the Cardinal implicated in some way, somehow justice will be served they think.
    To me it’s also clear the picture is not pornographic or intended that way. Why is it suspect to you Ismael or ‘not ok’ InCaelo?
    Is it because it has become a tool in the injustice toward the Cardinal it must be tainted itself?

    What exactly is the issue with this particular photo, what’s the issue of looking at pictures of naked children or people in and of itself? She doesn’t look that unhealthy to me, it could’ve been me when I was young. Do you somehow associate the focus of this kind of art grounded in reality with child abuse like Ismael seems to do?

    While I won’t hang it on my wall as a source of inspiration (which is my personal preference for art), I regard it as a kind of social commentary, a language, a world press photo… reality. Photographs can make us see reality clearer. I am pretty sure you don’t have a problem with this angle.

    Perhaps you refer you mean the debate on the exploitation of suffering, has that line been crossed here?

    Even ‘memento mori’s’, or the frailty of human existence, can be a source of inspiration though…. the eternal Crucifixion… is it the subtle socialist angle perhaps? To me there’s nothing wrong with socialism if it’s grounded in faith (christian or otherwise).

    Perhaps you think it’s a cheap and empty style… I’ve looked at the other work of Laura Baudoux but can’t find really find ‘cheapness’. Questions, questions… but perhaps the answer is just that tastes differ? Is there something wrong with me not seeing that there is something ‘not ok’ with this picture? Please enlighten me!

    1. My reason for not liking the picture is strictly personal: it just does not appeal to me. So, yes, it’s nothing more than a matter of taste.

      What bothers me is the arbitrary nature of appreciating this photo. A naked child in a shower is highly dubious when it is suspected to be pornographic, but the mere fact that it is intended to be art makes it alright to like.

  2. Hi InCaelo, thanks for clarifying I see I’ve misunderstood you there, sorry!
    Whenever I read a catholic blog commenting on the role of art in society – I unconsciously associate it also with Bishop’s Meisner’s talk on modern art as degenerate (entartete Kunst) and criticism of the blocks of Gerhart Richter. I sometimes seem to have a blocky mindset caused by a stressful and hot week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s