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Author Topic: The Lolita Affair  (Read 99388 times)

paul_jones

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #60 on: May 16, 2007, 05:56:24 pm »

what if i came to the states and shot a photo of micheal and posted it on the web.

he wouldnt have a problem with that probably.

but what if i titled the shot as "gay".

he may be "gay" or he may not be, it may or may not affend him. whether i had shot a work of art or not, the perception of the shot would have been completely changed by the title.

the title "lolita" has changed the interpretation of the shot completely.

if this girl lived in the states, her parents could sue. but because she comes from a poor country, she has no protection from any of this, they dont even get a say.

paul
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James R

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #61 on: May 16, 2007, 05:56:27 pm »

Quote
I see... I guess Jesus is quite welcome in that region:

"...Three employees of a publishing house that distributes Bibles were found with their throats slit Wednesday in the latest attack apparently targeting Turkey's Christian minority..." (http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/04/18/europe/EU-GEN-Turkey-Bible-Attack.php)
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sloboban,

That has nothing to do with Koran's writings on the prophets, of which Mohamed was the greatest.  That event is a fundamentalist reaction to Christian theology.  You will not find the denigration of the prophet Jesus in Iran.  You will find the condemnation of those who subjugate Mohamed to Jesus; or, worse, do not believe in Mohamed.

Now I know why I avoided theology classes in college--too many variations on a theme and too emotional.
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KSH

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #62 on: May 16, 2007, 06:11:49 pm »

Michael,

To quote from your essay:

"In this case I titled a photograph of a clearly sexually provocative young woman with a word in the popular vernacular that, I believe, adds to its overall effect."

I cannot help it, I find this very problematic. If this was a picture of a woman, I would not mind. But it is not, it is a picture of a girl who, for all I can gauge from the picture itself, may be no more than twelve years old. I find it completely inappropriate to say of a girl that she is a "clearly sexually provocative young woman". And even if actually she is older (how much older can she possibly be?), she looks as if she clearly is a child.

Mind you, I am not saying that you should be punished for posting this or that the picture should be banned. I am just saying that you would have done much much better if you had reflected on your own connotations for just a little bit longer, if you had considered for a moment that this may NOT be a "clearly sexually provocative young woman", but a child.

Karsten
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wakeboy

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #63 on: May 16, 2007, 07:03:11 pm »

i think it seems that the people here are unable to see the fact that children are sexual no matter what you try and say, i was a school teacher and fielding questions about sex was a daily exercise, as was having 14 year old girls who were just developing with shirts  that were a bit revealing and didnt leave much to the imaginationa nd repeating like a broken record to dp up thereir shirt etc, the fact parents cant possible consider there little darlings to be terrors when they are away from home has lots to do with many peoples perception of children. Children are very funny people generally who do make life interesting and are defiantely to be respected, but they also try and play games with adults, what differentiates us is an adult knows where the lines are, so this photo clearly shows a girl playing with lines, and the camera recording it.... In fact i have seen when i confiscated mobile phones from pupils in my class and turned off the phones to then be given back at the end of the day numerous pictures of half naked or in one case pornographic pictures, of the pupils them selfves as screen savers etc.... the pupils would put the pictures there for the effect of seeing me turn the thing off and catch a glimpse of the picture..... children are not innocent and do take liberties where possible, as for them being suggestive i can only describe a class of 14 year olds on a damp day in winter with the smell of sweat and potato chips in the class room after recess as one of the most unattractive things on the planet....

This photo is really what children are like, they show off and pose and test boundaries, it's time adults stop pretending they dont and are wrapped in cotton wool....
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nicolaasdb

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #64 on: May 16, 2007, 08:05:06 pm »

I see an image of a young girl...could have easily been a boy...nothing sexual..and the title is nothing to be upset about!

I guess the complaint(s) is(are) coming from someone with a sick mind!! Look into yourself..I would have (not for one second) thought of this image as sexual...not even with that title....but then again I am a healthy stable individual who thinks of children as children and not as sexual objects not even when the little girl would have been nude in that image would it ever cross my mind.

Live you life.....shoot pretty pictures.....and be glad images can  create a 5 page discussion!!
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alainbriot

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #65 on: May 16, 2007, 08:13:11 pm »

The limitations that some people place on what artists can do is the real issue here, be it in regards to the work, to the title of the work, or to some other aspect of art.

There's way too many censors these days.

We need a few more artists -quite a few more- to balance things out.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2007, 08:13:48 pm by alainbriot »
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katemann

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #66 on: May 16, 2007, 08:16:58 pm »

Bravo Alain Briot!
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dhammaker

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #67 on: May 16, 2007, 08:30:41 pm »

One more voice supporting Michael.

I would suggest that everyone focus on photographing and quit analyzing the motives of others.

The media already does that in a completely inaccurate manner.

dave
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mbutler

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #68 on: May 16, 2007, 08:32:05 pm »

Down here in the states, we had quite a prudish reaction to the Dove ad campaign, if you're familiar with that. If not, it was a series of artfully photographed nudes of middle-aged women.

That had me scratching my head, too.

When I first saw Michael's photo, it caused dissonance for me. I thought her provocative pose distracted from the diginity of her face, the intensity of her eyes. The title, although I don't disagree with Michael's right to name it whatever he wants, aggravated the dissonance (for me). I thought it would have been more successful as a tighter portrait.

My $.02.

Mike
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alexjones

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #69 on: May 16, 2007, 08:46:52 pm »

Michael,

The title is exploitive and degrading.  She is a child and should be treated with dignity and protected.  If she was an adult the same would apply.  If she lived here she could sue you and drag you through the very messy legal system.  As it is she can not, so you get to make money on her image and title you gave her.  It is likely she will never know, but you should be ashamed to know what you have done to her.  Don't defend the wrong.  Apologize for it even if you can't comprehend the wrong that was done to the child.  If you can't understand the wrong then I feel truly sorry for you.

Alex

PS  It is a weak image and not worth damaging yourself over.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2007, 08:48:36 pm by alexjones »
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Ray

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #70 on: May 16, 2007, 08:52:10 pm »

Wow! This thread has taken off like a rocket. Just goes to show what even a hint of sexual scandal can do.

I get the impression that most of those disagreeing with the display of this photo must have led very sheltered lives, or at least haven't travelled much.

The true age of women in general can be very deceptive. Makes no difference whether they are young or old. Older women often want to look younger than they are and the very young often want to appear older than they are.

Assessing this young lady's true age is also complicated by the fact she's of a different race and culture to most of the moral police. I'd place her anywhere between 14 and 20.

The best quote so far from this entire thread is the following:

Quote
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

C. S. Lewis
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Pete JF

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #71 on: May 16, 2007, 09:14:26 pm »

Quote
I was just thinking that I haven't enjoyed the reaction to a piece of art this much since Piss Jesus 15 or so years back. (Although the Mapplethorpe reaction was also priceless.)
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Dark Penguin,

If you are implying that this thing has anything to do with those two events then I feel that you have misplaced a few issues. This is a child whose family obviously doesn't have the resources  to offer up their opinion on Michael's offering of their daughter being a "clearly sexually provocative young woman". They are clearly out of the loop on this and that makes it very easy for Michael to do this. I wonder if Michael even thought to inquire as to the age of this person?

I'll suggest again..what if Michael lived in the neighboring village and used an equivalent term for this...would he have the guts? I'd wager, not.

No, Ray, I'm not sheltered and I'm very well traveled. I think you are making strange assumptions. And, what if this person is 14?  12?


Alanbriot,

Your last post was the biggest bunch of bullshit I've ever heard.

Michael is being checked on his actions here.

I'd be most worried if people didn't offer their opinion and just kept kissing his ass over a piece of, clearly, run-of-the-mill art. Michael's liberty is not being threatened.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2007, 09:38:31 pm by Pete JF »
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troyhouse

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #72 on: May 16, 2007, 09:15:30 pm »

Quote
Down here in the states, we had quite a prudish reaction to the Dove ad campaign, if you're familiar with that. If not, it was a series of artfully photographed nudes of middle-aged women.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118052\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Huge difference though, they were adults who agreed to do this and where paid to do so. They were not shot while undressing through their bedroom window with a 100-400 zoom by a 60ish year old pervert. The only thing that bugs me is that we are talking about this and Michael is loving his photo getting so much attention.

As to the earlier mention of piss christ, I loved it and had no problems with it. My only problem here is a child is involved. If Michael wants to imitate Mapplethorpe and post  a self portrait masterbating with a machine gun, god bless him, just leave third world underage children out of it.
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James R

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #73 on: May 16, 2007, 09:23:10 pm »

Alain,

Exactly who is censoring Michael?  Many are upset with the image, some with the title, some with the content of his article.  A discussion on a forum like this is not censorship.  He has not been forced to removed the photo from his website, or had legal action threatened.  

The negative opinions of Michael's titled photo are less offensive than your calling those who disagree with you "censors."   That is one of the oldest canards in the book.  Those on your side of this issue are just as over-the-top as some of Michael's critics.


Quote
The limitations that some people place on what artists can do is the real issue here, be it in regards to the work, to the title of the work, or to some other aspect of art.

There's way too many censors these days.

We need a few more artists -quite a few more- to balance things out.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118048\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
« Last Edit: May 16, 2007, 09:25:15 pm by James R »
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RobertJ

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #74 on: May 16, 2007, 10:12:20 pm »

Congratulations everyone!  You're slowly turning Michael Reichmann into the Don Imus of Internet photography websites.  Good job.  

Someone quickly call Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and schedule an appearance on OPRAH to talk about how the title of this image was degrading to this poor young girl, and other women in general.   After that, say goodbye to Michael as he checks into rehab!

Everyone needs to stop acting so GAY.  Oh no!  I said something that may be offensive to homosexuals.  Looks like I need to check into rehab with Michael as well!  Dammit!  
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Ray

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #75 on: May 16, 2007, 10:19:56 pm »

In fact, I would say the appellation, 'Lolita' is just too flattering. Having examined the photo again, I'd say this young lady is probably 25 years old, pregnant for the third time and is just behaving coquettishly because it please her and she wants to look younger than she actually is.

You moral police are a complete joke.
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mbutler

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #76 on: May 16, 2007, 10:33:52 pm »

troyhouse and James R,

I don't really disagree with you. My Dove ad campaign was perhaps not a great reference. Sometimes it's hard to discern whether people are shocked by nudity and sexuality because it is just plain nudity and sexuality, or because they're offended by the age of the subjects.

But I can see there is some passionate and righteous indignation going on here that must be respected.

I think Michael is hiding behind art and the "provacation of art." I think he stepped in a pile here. No question.

The point I was trying to make was that if he had chosen to take a more sensitive approach with his composition and his title, I think he might have achieved something more artistic. (And we wouldn't be having this discussion.)

Now Michael might say that he's not interested in reportage anymore, but I think that's a bit of a shame. Documentary photography can bubble up to the level of art (McCurry's Afghan Girl springs to mind). Even if it doesn't, it can still illuminate something about the world we live in and the people who inhabit this world. "Lolita," in my humble opinion, did neither.

Michael has a sphere of influence. He could influence his community about the plight of the poor, environmental threats, and the spectre of global warming, but he seldom or never does.

Maybe that would be too provocative.
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DarkPenguin

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #77 on: May 16, 2007, 10:52:09 pm »

I don't think I implied anything.  Anything implied is your own baggage.


Quote
Dark Penguin,

If you are implying that this thing has anything to do with those two events then I feel that you have misplaced a few issues. This is a child whose family obviously doesn't have the resources  to offer up their opinion on Michael's offering of their daughter being a "clearly sexually provocative young woman". They are clearly out of the loop on this and that makes it very easy for Michael to do this. I wonder if Michael even thought to inquire as to the age of this person?

I'll suggest again..what if Michael lived in the neighboring village and used an equivalent term for this...would he have the guts? I'd wager, not.

No, Ray, I'm not sheltered and I'm very well traveled. I think you are making strange assumptions. And, what if this person is 14?  12?
Alanbriot,

Your last post was the biggest bunch of bullshit I've ever heard.

Michael is being checked on his actions here.

I'd be most worried if people didn't offer their opinion and just kept kissing his ass over a piece of, clearly, run-of-the-mill art. Michael's liberty is not being threatened.
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robertfields

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #78 on: May 16, 2007, 10:53:49 pm »

I must agree with Alain and nicolaasdb.  This is way off the track.  Some of the language here is even past Ann Coulter, Randi Rhodes, Rush Limbaugh, and Rosie ODonnell. It's not funny, entertaining or even relevant to a sane discussion of what is art.  I must say I was shocked to see such a turmoil over a simple picture, which when I first saw it, I thought, "interesting, captivating eyes." And I must say, the "provocative" nature of the title escaped me.  I thought it was possibly her real name.  Duh! If I follow the logic of some of these righteous-types, they would object to Steve McCurry's famous picture of Sharbat Gula that graced the cover of National Geographic over 20 years ago.  After all, most Pashtuns are probably not particularly happy about their young girls having their pictures plastered all over western magazines.  But even after 20 years Sharbat and her family didn't understand all the fuss, so the story goes.  Maybe in 20 years "Lolita" will be equally nonplussed.  Wouldn't it be funny if she grew up to be a photojournalist!  Can we move on now, please.
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oscar falero

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #79 on: May 17, 2007, 12:02:14 am »

Quote
In fact, I would say the appellation, 'Lolita' is just too flattering. Having examined the photo again, I'd say this young lady is probably 25 years old, pregnant for the third time and is just behaving coquettishly because it please her and she wants to look younger than she actually is.

You moral police are a complete joke.
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Wow Ray! You must have been a participant in the Amazon Perverts Trip or just a photo prophet to make such a comment.  

Perversion for the sake of art is what it seems like to me.

What I find most upsetting about Michael Reichman's actions is the title & caption that he gave this picture and the effort that he put in finding its meaning. A Humbert of sorts, desperate to gather attention to himself by going deep into the paragraphs of Wikipedia to set the momemtum for this dialogue. All a calculated attempt to draw attention to his site.

An equally provocative and crowd drawing photo would have been of Reichman and Schewe swimming together tittled "Perverts" along with a Wikipedia link -[a href=\"http://]Wikipedia[/url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perversion
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