A month ago, the photograph, entitled 'Klara and Edda Bely Dancing' by American Nan Goldin, was seized by Police from Gateshead's Baltic gallery following concerns that it was child pornography.
Apparently it has now been decided that it is not indecent. So, what is this controversial picture? What caused the fuss? Well, here it is (censored). At least, I'm told this is it. I'm not sure I believe it.
My reaction? It's shite. I can't believe that anyone would pay money to purchase that picture, even if it was part of a set. If it was one which I had taken, I would have deleted it from the camera because it wasn't worth saving.
It's a couple of kids messing about in the kitchen. The lighting is poor, the setting is poor and I know kids who could have produced a better image on a disposable camera.
Is that really the picture in question? Surely this is someone taking the piss? Please tell me that the real photograph is actually a good one.
The only reason I can think of for anyone wanting that picture, is for the shock value. The photographer must have been laughing her tits off when she sold it. Money for old rope, in my opinion. If Elton John really does think it's a good photo, I have hundreds he can buy. I have a particularly good one of my feet, and another of my finger. The one I have from the end of the film, where there's only half a frame is not bad too. Very artistic I think. Sort of black and yellow and you can see the holes where the film locates on the spools. Must be worth a few bob, with the right marketing.
So, is it pornography? No, I don't think it is. There's nothing sexual about it, it's just a picture of a naked kid. Hell, my parents have naked photos of me as a young child. That doesn't make them perverts, and I have no problem with the existence of those pictures because I am not ashamed of my body, not then, not now.
There is, of course, the question of the child's right to privacy. Whilst it's perfectly normal for parents to take naked pictures of their kids, is it right that they should be allowed to publish them, when the child has no say in the matter, and isn't of an age or maturity to know the implications of publication? How will the child feel about this in 10 years time? How will her friends feel about it?