The Remoteness that Betrays Desire

Kenneth Anderson


This 1997 review in the Times Literary Supplement covered the then, as now, incendiary issue of the nude photography of children and adolescents. It reviewed photobooks by two leading photographers of children in the nude, Jock Sturges and David Hamilton. Sturges, an American, photographed mainly on nude beaches in France and Europe, often following the same families and children for years on end; he had been indicted on child pornography charges in the 1908s, although the jury took only a few minutes to find for him. Hamilton, British, has photographed in France and in various islands. The photography of child and adolescent nudes is contrasted with Michael Graffenried's photography of older adults in long-standing European nudist and sun-worshipping camps, and with Laura Kipnis' argument that the regulation of pornography in America has a firm class basis (this argument has received its most famous airing in Judge Richard Posner's famous - and overturned - opinion invalidating regulations against nude exotic dancing in strip clubs that nonetheless made exceptions for artistic nude expression in the dance department of the local university).