Tierney Gearon - I Am a Camera - Saatchi Gallery

I am a Camera, a photography exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, an exhibition of eight photographers that includes pictures of Nan Goldin's Thanksgiving. It contains photos of couples and intimate images of lovers and friends in NY, naked, lying down, and kissing. But it was the work of the American photographer Tierney Gearon, a mother of two that used her children in private aspects of life that provoked outrage in the UK because of the current climate against paedophilia. The photo she took was of her father, an older man talking on his mobile phone standing by a swimming boy, the boy is her son, holding a net for scooping out leaves and insects, the old man is ignoring the child that looks sad and lonely. She has been accused of exploiting her children. Her father has a house in St Bart; she skis in Aspen and spends holidays in a French chateau that belongs to her estranged banker husband. She says it is was very difficult to photograph a life like hers, difficult to make it interesting such as taking picture of drunks on the street "but it's much harder to make a skiing holiday look intriguing. "

She married a French investment banker and went from being a model to being a bourgeois wife and mother. She said, "Whatever I did, it was wrong, it wasn't his fault. I married him because I was attracted to his strong family background. I thought he'd be strong to help me, but he has his own problems and socially it was a disaster. "Every one was always thinking, "Oh, what's that mad Tierney going to do next?"Her psychiatrist said that Tierney wants to be the centre of attention. "I don't seem to have any social boundaries, I go to a party and I tell the people everything and it freaks them out. I get hyperactive. That why I like photography. It's like a calm drag. " remarked Tierney. I must say that I have some similarities to this woman. I LOVE TO BE THE CENTRE OF ATTENTION and that was the problem with my ex-husband, and the Italian social boundaries. So, it is good to know that I am not the only one.

Now I see what underlines this art, this phenomenological doubt in recent art so we have come to view the truth in a photographic world. Many people complained about the photographs of her naked children and they insisted that the material pander to paedophiles. Following complaints the Metropolitan police visited the gallery and asked for the pictures to be removed. After consulting its lawyers the gallery decided to defy the request in the name of artistic freedom. Tierney Gearon said "only a perverted mind could deem them obscene. "Gerald Howarth, MP, the chairman of the cross-party parliamentary family and child protection committee says the show is disturbing and sends the wrong message to paedophiles. Emboldened by their success at smashing the Wonderland paedophile ring, the police have moved to act immediately, but the lawyer consulted said, "are these picture obscene or indecent?Personally, I don't find them either. These pictures don't even begin to fall into the category of obscene. To secure a conviction under the Obscene Publications Act, one would have to show that these pictures deprave and corrupt. I think people who are censorious of them should examine their own perception" and went on asking, "Is this case of indecency?"The photos of her children did not fall into either category - corrupt or depraved - and, thus, the exhibition went on despite the huge scandal on the TV and in the newspapers.

Her photographs have been well received; Elton John has bought a few. Steven Martin - referred to as "Charles (Saatchi) latest find" - saw her photographs at a charity auction organised by Kay Saatchi, who has just become estranged wife of Charles. He bought a stack of them and had 15 of them blown up on show in I am Camera.

Verinha Ottoni.


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