Re: Public displaying of Nude Art
I wanted to apologize for my own part in letting our postings on the topic of the "public display" degenerate somewhat. I can, however, unequivocally say that this is not about my repression of anything.
As I alluded earlier, just the sort of abuse I previously posted about has adversely affected my own life and my abuser did use pornographic material to open the door for subsequent abuse. (Perhaps it was my reference to this that prompted your comment about “emotional histrionics “?!) I also know others who have had the same experience. My assertions, however, were not emotional ones, rather they are based on experience and contemporary research backs them up. (Pornography is documented to be one of the most common ways abusers/pedophiles get their victims to become desensitized to what they want them to do.) I am not unaware that this may seem hard for one who has not experienced this firsthand to digest and retract my comments about your "cluelessness", and your need to "wake up". (While I think the latter may aptly describe what needs to happen, it is not the best way to state that thought.) I don't know your background, but I know my own and shouldn't expect you to be as well informed on this reality unless it is a part of your life as well. Your marginalizing of the effect of materials such as pornography and other explicit imagery as a tool for sexual predators is a result of this I imagine.
My response, if you read it, did address your statements. I reiterate, ….you assert that other cultures have healthier attitudes towards sex, but that fact is not borne out by the rampant child pornography and child prostitution in Asia, Africa, and Europe. (Child slavery as well is a symptom of the cultural malaise that allows the other two to occur.) That was my response to your premise. Historical anthropology aside, all you have to do to see this truth is to research it upon the web. What might have been is not the issue, and repression doesn't account for it either. (Although historically children have been sexualized since the beginning of recorded history to one degree or another) Much of the worst abuse of children takes place in countries that have lax attitudes about public nudity and open displays of a sexual nature. There is a world wide epidemic and it is because the healthier attitudes towards sex don't exist in the ways you suggest...not on a macro, multicultural level. In smaller, more specific contexts I know they do. In a global context, however, it is not a reality.
A mitigating factor to some of the earlier confusion maybe that I am not discussing mere nudity, but the explicit displays such as Koons work exemplifies. I agree that nudity, the unsexualized display of the body, isn't anything to get worked up about. As fritichie said, it is a distinction mature artists usually make because the choice to use one or the other sends different messages. Koons obviously is sending a different message than say Fredrick Hartt did with his use of nudity.
Regardless of our differences, I do not want to foster antipathy as a result of our disagreement. My apologies for any bad feelings that have resulted.