Porn charges could get artist 10 years’ jail

Melbourne artist Paul Yore could face up to 10 years in prison for possessing and producing child pornography after the seizure of artwork from a St Kilda gallery.
Nanjing Night Net

Detectives raided the Linden Centre for Contemporary Art on Saturday and removed a number of images from Yore’s installation, Everything’s F—ed, which allegedly depicted sexual acts superimposed with children’s faces.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said a 25-year-old Footscray man was interviewed by detectives on Monday before being released pending a court summons.

She said the man was likely to be charged with producing and possessing child pornography. The production charge carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years under the Crimes Act.

The police intervention was branded ”outrageous” by Yore supporter Jeremy Gaden, director of The Substation gallery in Newport. The Substation showed a similar work by the artist this year as part of Blue and Pink Phenomenon for Midsumma.

”Our take on it is that the artist produced the work with no intention of eliciting sexual gratification for himself or the public,” he said. ”There’s a big difference between exploiting children for sexual purposes and using imagery in an artistic context and that’s what’s getting lost here.”

The police moved after local resident Adrian Jackson made a complaint about the exhibition and concerns were raised during a Port Phillip council meeting.

Mr Jackson, who has made three runs for council and has repeatedly opposed its financial support of Linden, said he visited the exhibition three times before it was shut down. ”I’m not a wowser or anything,” he said. ”If it’s good I don’t care if it’s contemporary, or Dutch Masters or French Impressionists or Art Deco … I just don’t think it was suitable for general exhibition.”

Yore’s installation was part of Like Mike, a larger series of exhibitions across five Melbourne galleries paying tribute to controversial Australian artist Mike Brown.

Brown is the only Australian artist to have been charged with obscenity and was known for his provocative, at times pornographic, work spanning collage, installation and painting.

Both Yore and Like Mike co-curator Geoff Newton declined to comment on Tuesday.

However, the collage nature of Paul Yore’s work presents specific challenges, Matthew Goldberg, from Robert Stary Lawyers, said.

“With an abstract collage of found images prepared for an artistic purpose, one would imagine there’d be difficulty in demonstrating it exists in an indecent context,” he said.

Under Victorian law child pornography is defined to include photographs of children who are, or look like they are, under the age of 16 engaging in sexual activity or depicted in an indecent sexual manner or context.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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