David Marr’s new book, The Henson Case, on controversial Australian artist Bill Henson is due out on Friday. This will be an interesting read and I’m hoping to scout a copy although I’m suprised at the speed of the production, considering the controversy was only in May this year. Henson’s gallery showing was shut down in Sydney when some viewers complained about the subject of his photography. You see, the figures in his portraits are naked pre-pubsescent young teenages. Following the hoopla was the resurection of the age old debate of what constituted as art. Some saw the photography as art and some saw it as child pornography. Marr’s book will detail the case.
I’ve read Marr before and I think he’s a fantastic writer/journalist. He co-authored A Dark Victory which investigated the Australian government’s dealings towards asylum seekers and the infamous Tampa boat incident. He sorts out the propaganda and story weaving from the truth and it’s heartbreaking how the ayslum seekers were (are) treated. Marr goes on to document the then-prime minster’s, John Howard, historic landslide win admidst the scandal. It was such an eye opener. I can’t believe that sort of political bullshit and propaganda still exists today, and worse of all, I can’t believe I was sat back and watched it happened. Although I was a teenager at the time.