Larry Clark: Untitled, 1985; Nan Goldin: C in the Club, Bangkok, 1992
via Courrier international, 11/2/06:
Moral values against contemporary art
In the year 2000, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bordeaux organised an exhibition entitled, 'Presumed innocent - Contemporary art and childhood' that was subsequently attacked by an association for the protection of childhood. Six years later, Henry-Claude Cousseau, the director of the museum up until 2001, has been taken to court for 'the distribution of paedo-pornographic images'. The editorialist Gerard Dupuy considers that, "moral leagues have developed a strategy of judicial dissuasion regarding the forms of expression that displease them. ... Contemporary artists living in France are in an uncomfortable situation. They have the greatest difficulty getting themselves heard beyond the specialist spaces that they are allocated. Even there, some would wish to gag them, resorting if needs be to calumny. Not all the Taliban have stone Buddhas at their disposal. Sometimes they don't even wear a beard either."
and NYTimes, Arts briefly, 11/25/06; Ben Sisario:
A group of museum directors and curators signed a petition in London yesterday protesting the indecency charges against Henry-Claude Cousseau, director of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Mr. Cousseau is under investigation for an exhibition, "Presumed Innocent: Contemporary Art and Childhood," at the Centre d'Arts Plastiques Contemporain in Bordeaux six years ago, when he was the director there. That show, with works by Mike Kelley, Cindy Sherman, Tony Oursler, Annette Messager, Nan Goldin and others, drew complaints from La Mouette, a child protection group, and Mr. Cousseau, along with two curators, faces charges in connection with exhibiting "works of a violent pornographic nature, unacceptable for a young public." If convicted, he could receive a fine and up to three years in prison, according to a statement released on behalf of the signers of the petition, who include Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate Gallery; Alfred Pacquement, director of the Centre Georges Pompidou; Robert Storr, dean of the Yale School of Art; Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery in London; Claire Hsu, executive director of the Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong; and 12 others.