Hayward censors Mapplethorpe nude of girl, five
Tuesday 10 September 1996
The exhibition, which opens next week, contains a number of explicit pictures, including images of sado-masochism. Officials at the gallery showed police the catalogue in case it offended against pornography legislation.
The Clubs and Vice Squad police advised against the display of two photographs - one of a naked five-year-old girl sitting with her legs open, and the other of two men performing a sexual act.
The Hayward Gallery will not be including the photograph of the girl, entitled Rosie, although it had been a part of the exhibition when it toured in other countries. Officials have not yet decided whether to follow police advice on Helmut and Brooks, which shows the homo-erotic practice of "fisting".
Child-abuse charities were outraged at the prospect ofRosie going on show in London because they feared it would appeal to perverts. Esther Rantzen, chairwoman of ChildLine, called it "horrific".
A South Bank Centre spokeswoman said: "We do not have room to show the whole touring exhibition, and Rosie is not representative, or one of Mapplethorpe's best works." She added: "The climate has changed since that picture was taken in 1976 ... the issues around how children are portrayed are very different now."
The retrospective has already been exhibited in many countries, she said. Other photographs feature male genitalia, homosexual sex, whips and guns.
Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989, was a sought-after portrait photographer also famed for his still-life flower pictures. He once said: "I went into photography because it seemed like a perfect vehicle for commenting on the madness of today's existence."
The retrospective is being toured by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Its publicity says: "His graphic portrayals of sado-masochism are provocative and hard-hitting, demonstrating his fascination with the body as a site of pleasure, humiliation and pain. Vilified for their disturbing, often fiercely sexual content, the pictures are, at the same time, celebrated for confronting society's values and prejudices."
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Bad luck, One Direction: Paul McCartney doubts success of The Beatles will ever be matched again
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
Guillaume Tell's gang-rape scene caused uproar at the Royal Opera House – but the portrayal of extreme sex and violence on stage is nothing new
The last decade has produced just four UK festival headline acts
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture