Cate Blanchett Writes Controversial Letter Against Aussie Prime Minister

Hollywood actress, and Aussie native, Cate Blanchett has attacked Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for banning an exhibition of naked photographs of young girls – she claims this decision is “revolting”. The mother of 3 boys joined 42 other leading arts figures from Australia in signing an open letter slamming Mr Rudd over his criticism of artist Bill Henson’s photographs of naked 12 and 13-year-old children. Police were ordered to shut down Henson’s exhibition at a Sydney art gallery last week and confiscated 20 of his photographs as part of an investigating into whether charges should be laid. Cate’s letter stated,

“The potential prosecution of one of our most respected artists is no way to build a Creative Australia and does untold damage to our cultural reputation. We should remember that an important index of social freedom, in earlier times or in repressive regimes elsewhere in the world, is how artists and art are treated by the state.”

Another critic includes Nobel winning writer John Coetzee,

“We wish to make absolutely clear that none of us endorses, in any way, the abuse of children. Henson’s work has nothing to do with child pornography and, according to the judgment of some of the most respected curators and critics in the world, it is certainly art.”

Rudd made a public statement to this criticism,

“I gave my reaction, I stand by that reaction and I don’t apologise for it and I won’t be changing it. I am passionate about children having innocence in their childhood.”

Arts Minister Peter Garrett, once the lead singer of Australian rock band Midnight Oil, also added to this criticism against Rudd,

“…to stand up for artists against a trend of encroaching censorship. This action will encourage a repressive climate of hysterical condemnation, backed by the threat of prosecution. We are already seeing troubling signs in the pre-emptive self-censorship of some galleries. This is not the hallmark of an open democracy nor of a decent and civilised society.”

What do you think? Is this a matter of artistic freedom or child pornography?

Source: Daily Mail

Filed under: Cate Blanchett


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  1. Cm

    i need to know the context in which these pictures were shown. What was the message of this exhibit?

  2. popsykl

    As an aussie, i have seen selected images. But you know they are not artistic shots at all, i do support the art scene i have a friend who owns a gallery, but i cannot as a mother support these images as ART!!! it’s all seedy to me.

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