December 11, 2010

Why did the Madison, Wisconsin arts center remove a photograph from its display "Living with HIV/AIDS: Perspectives Through the Lens"?

It's not like the HIV-themed, ants-on-Jesus video recently removed from the Smithsonian Institution's "Difference and Desire" show. Here in Madison, the sensitivities are quite different:
... "Stripped" features a nude male model seated in a chair with a handful of pill bottles covering his lap. Only his chest, arms and thighs are shown....

Thousands of school- and preschool-aged children walk through the hallway known as the Playhouse Gallery each week on their way to Overture shows, and officials were concerned that "a little kid could connect sickness with genitals" by looking at "Stripped," [Overture spokesman Rob] Chappell said.

Two other black and white photos by Oren — one portraying a nude male torso embraced by four male arms and the other showing a nude male covered by a pile of books — remain on the gallery's walls.

"It's the sickness attached to the genitals that we decided could be misinterpreted by a little kid," Chappell said. "It was never the topic that was an issue. We don't see any reason to shield kids from the fact that HIV exists, or that people with HIV are normal people and can express themselves through photography or any other way."
We don't want children to connect sickness with genitals.

60 comments:

ricpic said...

What a thrill it is for progressives to shove genitilia in childrens faces. Way more thrilling than doing that to adults. The envelope must be pushed!

Lem said...

"It's the sickness attached to the genitals that we decided could be misinterpreted by a little kid,"

I'm no doctor but one way HIV/AIDS spreads is through the genitals.. the exchange of fluids..

What Am I missing here?

This what pisses people off.

Freeman Hunt said...

But you can get sick via your genitals?

Why remove this one and not the books one? What do books have to do with your genitals?

I guess accuracy isn't the aim here.

mesquito said...

OT, but here's proof of why Althouse was right to oppose Muhammed Cartoon Day.

http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article8265883.ab

mesquito said...

Is in simplistic to ask why they don't take the little farts to the goddam zoo instead?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. If you're going to present certain subjects to children, you should have some consideration for how they might receive them. Kids are a lot more literal and have a hard time with symbolism.

MamaM said...

Consider what a stir the very mention of Mr Edwards Prominent Part caused in conjunction with talk of cancer in his Other Half and one can see how genitals and sickness are not compatible topics when opened for public viewing together.

David said...

Maybe it's the statement on the bottle caps that are covering the model's junk. ("Push down and turn.")

Figured the little nippers might get ideas.

Michael Haz said...

s in simplistic to ask why they don't take the little farts to the goddam zoo instead?

Because in Madison, the zoo animals are all free-love hippie stoners who think cross-species sexuality is a right.

Doggone those Madison parents for wanting to control what they want their 6 year olds to see! Sexist pricks! The state should control when children can see photos of naked gay men.

Misty said...

Why do school-age and pre-school age children need to see this? I agree with Mosquito; surely there are more innocent venues available to take the kids. At the very least, move the exhibit to where the young-uns don't have to be subjected to it. There is a lot of art, classical and modern, that is more age appropriate.

mesquito said...

We don't want children to connect sickness with genitals.

Well, maybe we do.

Lem said...

Couldn't they let the kids though the back door?... the same way Obama had the Dalai Lama ushered out of the White House.

Misty said...

mesquito - sorry 'bout referencing you as Mosquito.

edutcher said...

Freeman's got the right idea. The whole genitals thing sounds like a blind.

I think someone was, as ricpic, said trying to "mold little minds", rather than thinking.

The exhibit, in general, isn't a bad idea, but being sensitive to their environment wouldn't kill the exhibitors.

mesquito said...

And what the hell is it with modern Educationists and sex? It's just plain creepy.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Evangelicals don't want their kids to learn where babies come from, liberals where sexually transmitted diseases come from.

Ann Althouse said...

If you don't want the kids to see male nudity, make sure they don't see this.

Freeman Hunt said...

I take my kids to the arts center in this area, and I would be extremely annoyed if, in the hallway leading to the children's shows, there were a bunch of adult oriented photographs.

I agree with Misty. Can't they just put more age appropriate art in that area?

Or has everyone gone and decided that shielding children from anything is only for provincial rubes?

(Also, the first sentence in my first comment was supposed to end with a period, not a question mark.)

Freeman Hunt said...

Is the possible inappropriateness for children limited only to the "male nudity" involved? I would have thought it was more about the topics raised.

shoutingthomas said...

The whole point of "Living with HIV/AIDS: Perspectives Through the Lens" — which runs through Sunday and was installed to coincide with World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 — was to promote understanding among the public and lessen the stigma surrounding the disease, said Heidi Nass, a patient advocate for the HIV/AIDS Comprehensive Care Program at UW-Health and coordinator of the photo project.

The stigma?

From Michael Fumeto's "The Myth of Heterosexual Aids":

HIV/AIDS gets about $200,000 per patient death in the NIH research budget, according to calculations from the FAIR Foundation (Fair Allocations in Research). We spend 21 times more per AIDS death than cancer death. Pancreatic cancer will strike about 43,000 Americans this year and is essentially a quick death sentence. It gets 1% of the funding per death as AIDS.

chickelit said...

If you don't want the kids to see male nudity, make sure they don't see this.

What does that have to do with nudity and disease?

LOLing because my daughter knew what her older brother's "weiner" was since about age 6.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Freeman Hunt: Is the possible inappropriateness for children limited only to the "male nudity" involved? I would have thought it was more about the topics raised.

That's the thing, they left other partial nudity/HIV photos up there. It was the idea that sex can cause illness that bothered them. The biological fact didn't fit well with their political leanings so they censored it.

AllenS said...

I guess you could say that it would be a good teachable moment to tell youngsters to stay away from homosexuals because they give you AIDS.

virgil xenophon said...

AlenS@5:17

"You (they--the GSLBT crowd) can't stand the truth!"

traditionalguy said...

The Innocents incenses the dirty minded. They must be defiled and the younger the better. Otherwise they could end up as 12 year old virgins with their best sexual years behind them just because of these prudish parents. Wait until the SCOTUS hears about this failure to separate religion from every thing else.

Jason (the commenter) said...

AllenS: I guess you could say that it would be a good teachable moment to tell youngsters to stay away from homosexuals because they give you AIDS.

That's what they used to say about Christians and venereal diseases (even before the widespread use of condoms).

Freeman Hunt said...

That's the thing, they left other partial nudity/HIV photos up there

Exactly. I think they need to find another part of the arts center for the exhibit.

Not everything has to be kid appropriate, and not everything has to be exposed to kids.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

If you don't want the kids to see male nudity, make sure they don't see this.

Unlike George Orwell's animals, not all male nudity is equal.

rhhardin said...

It's adults that have to be shielded from children, if you ask me.

Children have mostly scandalous thoughts.

Palladian said...

I'm with rhhardin, keep the damn nasty children out of sight, not the artwork.

Those little bastards would wish you into the cornfield in a heartbeat if they could.

Alex said...

What pisses people off the most is they can't have consequence-free sex since the early 80s.

Whiskey Jim said...

Is that what the exhibit is about? You know, how people are knowingly spreading a deadly disease? I'm cool with the kids seeing how gay sex kills. It has changed sex for the whole population forever.

Nothing against homosexuals mind you. But it is an epidemic. It is a travesty. Let's see more art deploring the disgustingly inept way we are fighting this disease.

I am totally serious when I say that the compassionate thing to do when this terrible devastating disease became known would have been quarantine.

At the least, a small tattoo near the genitals so a prospective partner could make a choice.

If this were the Plague, or any other deadly disease not associated with gay sex, that is exactly what we would have done.

It would be gone now, or very rare. Instead, it continues to kill hundreds of thousands of people a year.

Ralph L said...

Where'd they find a (non-bear) gay man with untrimmed pubes?

S said...

"Not everything has to be kid appropriate, and not everything has to be exposed to kids."

+1

On the bright side, based on the description, this wasn't particularly interesting or clever art. Not that the ones they kept sound any better.

Nora said...

What about the chance to connect seakness with male?

Jason (the commenter) said...

Whiskey Jim: If this were the Plague, or any other deadly disease not associated with gay sex, that is exactly what we would have done.

I don't think that's the case. They haven't done it in Africa, and they kill gay people there. And since we're not worrying about being politically correct, let's remember that the Pope only kind of endorsed condom use last month and HIV, syphilis, chlamydia etc. were all spread by Christian attitudes towards condom use (and wifely responsibilities). Hell, Christians are fighting HPV vaccination right now!

Not that you're being anti-gay or I'm being anti-Christian.

Palladian said...

"I am totally serious when I say that the compassionate thing to do when this terrible devastating disease became known would have been quarantine."

I am totally serious when I say that the compassionate thing to do when your terrible devastating stupidity became known would have been quarantine, so your ill-informed, scientifically illiterate fascist ideas wouldn't have the chance to spread.

Fen said...

The state should control when children can see photos of naked gay men.

I thought the State already had legal custody of your children while they are at school?

Jason (the commenter) said...

Whiskey Jim: I am totally serious when I say that the compassionate thing to do when this terrible devastating disease became known would have been quarantine.

Nobody knew what the cause of AIDS was, it took them a while to identify HIV as the associated virus. And there can be long incubation times so everyone in the country or coming into the country would have had to have been tested several times. And there would have been problems about where to house the infected, etc..

Perhaps if people weren't getting infected from blood transfusions and people weren't using it to attack gays a quarantine might have been politically possible, but I don't think it would have been logistically possible. Right now we have dengue fever spreading in Florida and the government doesn't seem capable of stopping it. All they have to do is kill mosquitoes!

Fen said...

If this were the Plague, or any other deadly disease not associated with gay sex, that is exactly what we would have done.

I don't think that's the case. They haven't done it in Africa, and they kill gay people there

AIDS in Africa is associated with the prostitutes the rural men visit when they go to the cities to find work and trade goods, who then take the disease back to their families. Its not associated with gays the way it is here.

Apparently, misbehavior
"between consenting adults which is no one's damn business" has become EVERYONE'S business....

Palladian said...

"Apparently, misbehavior
"between consenting adults which is no one's damn business" has become EVERYONE'S business...."

Who gets to define the "mis" in "misbehavior", Miss Fen?

shoutingthomas said...

HIV/AIDS gets about $200,000 per patient death in the NIH research budget, according to calculations from the FAIR Foundation (Fair Allocations in Research). We spend 21 times more per AIDS death than cancer death. Pancreatic cancer will strike about 43,000 Americans this year and is essentially a quick death sentence. It gets 1% of the funding per death as AIDS.

The people who get to define the "mis" in "misbehavior" are the ones who have to pay for it, Palladan.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

mesquito: here's eight reasons not to take your kids to the zoo.

Fen said...

Who gets to define the "mis" in "misbehavior", Miss Fen?

Well, society has considered prostitution a sin for quite some time now. Africa demonstrates why.

How many millions dead beacause of it? How much depravation and loss?

Fen said...

"Undisputable fact is that 14000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa are being infected daily with HIV and 11,000 are dying every day due to HIV/AIDS related illnesses. ... This article, therefore, shows that HIV is an important outcome of poverty, with sexual trade, migration, polygamy, and teenage marriages as its predictors in the Sub Saharan region."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2205968/

Kirk Parker said...

Mosquito,

Dang, your OT link makes me realize how much Swedish I've forgotten.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"The state should control when children can see photos of naked gay men."

The state does control this. It's when the kids go to the airport.

They can see naked everything!

Look folks ... this is grooming, pure and simple.

They want to fuck your kid and it be legal.

Period.

And they're using your tax dollars - which ostensibly go towards the arts - as their primary grooming method.

bagoh20 said...

Is there anything less original than nudity. C'mon artists get a new idea.

Ironically, this is one case where the nudity actual has a point which seems completely lost on many, probably including the artist.

Palladian said...

"Is there anything less original than nudity. C'mon artists get a new idea."

Yeah, the nude human figure is so passé! No one's interested in looking at nude humans! C'mon artists! That fucking faggot Michelangelo painted naked men! The fucking Greeks made nude art! The fucking prehistoric sculptors made nude art! Nude nude nude! That sort of this is sooooo over!

Palladian said...

Of course, artists, don't be too "original" or of course we'll make fun of your shit for that, too, and lament that artists today don't make good old-fashioned "traditional" art like all those great old ancient Greeks and Renaissance Italians did.

Fen said...

Meh. Our artists need to suffer more. Their work sucks.

Palladian said...

"Meh. Our artists need to suffer more. Their work sucks."

You don't even have mediocre artwork to attest to your life on this earth.

Doc Merlin said...

"We don't want children to connect sickness with genitals."

Isn't that the main way people get HIV? I am beginning to understand why the conservatives are so anti-left.

Fen said...

You don't even have mediocre artwork to attest to your life on this earth.

[shrug]

thats how much I care about today's "art"

bagoh20 said...

Anytime someone wants you to look at something you otherwise wouldn't bother with because it's not interesting or beautiful, they throw in some nudity. It's, lazy and weak...usually.

A beer commercial is not art.

reader_iam said...

Am I incorrectly reading the article to say thatbthe exhibition area in question is not the main gallery, but rather an area through which people must go to reach a performing arts venue? It seems to me this would be relevant in a multi-purpose, multi-use, public, arts venue. In that context, I can see valid reasons for being sensitive as to what was displayed in that particular area (though I think it's odd to single out the way in which it was done here). And, again in that context, I think the comments about not all things having to be appropriate for kids or that the kids should be kept away aren't really relevant, or at least are a bit off base. Let's say the kids were there for a concert or play, not to view the art show/galleries, but had no choice but to pass through the hallway, or whatever it is. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me that some parents might find that objectionable, especially for elementary-schoolers. It's not unfair, I don't think, to make distinctions based on the physical plant of a facility if it's a shared one.

Googled info about the exhibition itself and I think it sounds intriguing. There are certainly some impressive artists represented from the past century. I'd go if I were in Madison.

BJM said...

"We don't want children to connect sickness with genitals.

Would children even go there? Sounds like adult projection or artistic insecurity. With all the sexual imagery swirling around children nowadays, this seems rather tame.

Of course some horny little kid might take away the wrong message and get his penis stuck in a pill bottle, but I don't think that kids walking through a hallway squirming, poking and chattering would take much notice.

Now bums or tits, kids would notice for sure...cuz bums are funny and tits are naughty...everyone knows THAT!

Fernandinande said...

I'm no doctor but one way HIV/AIDS spreads is through the genitals.. the exchange of fluids..

Sort of. AIDS is VERY hard to spread by sexual activity except for anal sex; the other non-trivial transmission route is sharing needles. That's what AIDS activists don't want people to know that in the vast majority of cases in the western world, they got AIDS by anal sex or by sharing needles.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

I'm surprised Whiskey Jim doesn't advocate we deal with pandemics the way they used to in the good ole days!

Because 14th century healers were at a loss to explain the cause, Europeans turned to astrological forces, earthquakes, and the poisoning of wells by Jews as possible reasons for the plague's emergence. The mechanism of infection and transmission of diseases was little understood in the 14th century; many people believed only God's anger could produce such horrific displays. There were many attacks against Jewish communities. In August 1349, the Jewish communities of Mainz and Cologne were exterminated. In February of that same year, the citizens of Strasbourg murdered 2,000 Jews. By 1351, 60 major and 150 smaller Jewish communities had been destroyed.

Flagellants practiced mortification of the flesh as a penance.
Where government authorities were concerned, most monarchs instituted measures that prohibited exports of foodstuffs, condemned black market speculators, set price controls on grain and outlawed large-scale fishing. At best, they proved mostly unenforceable and at worst they contributed to a continent-wide downward spiral. The hardest hit lands, like England, were unable to buy grain abroad: from France because of the prohibition, and from most of the rest of the grain producers because of crop failures from shortage of labour. Any grain that could be shipped was eventually taken by pirates or looters to be sold on the black market. Meanwhile, many of the largest countries, most notably England and Scotland, had been at war, using up much of their treasury and exacerbating inflation. In 1337, on the eve of the first wave of the Black Death, England and France went to war in what would become known as the Hundred Years' War. Malnutrition, poverty, disease and hunger, coupled with war, growing inflation and other economic concerns made Europe in the mid-14th century ripe for tragedy. The Brotherhood of the Flagellants, a movement said to number up to 800,000, reached its peak of popularity.

Sigivald said...

And this is why the Smithsonian should be privatized.

Art interpretation (or funding!) isn't the State's God-damned job. Neither is running a "national museum", frankly.

(Show me the enumerated power!)

(Then again, "AIDS art" has never made any sense to me, particularly - and especially now, in the days of effective treatment regimes.

I could understand it in, say, 1985, when it looked like - in a few subcultures - the world was basically ending, and we could still believe it was going to spread out into the general population as a "plague".

But now? Well... who the fuck cares?

Use a condom if you're sleeping around. Don't shoot up. And if you do either, get tested and treated. Then you'll live a nice long time, even if you get HIV, very likely.

Seems like, as a theory, the [justified] AIDS panic of the 80s caused AIDS to become nearly an identity.

That, to the extent it's true, is the "sick" thing.)