Sally Mann’s photographs lead to request for police investigation
A request for a police investigation has been made to the Helsinki Police Department over pictures taken by the US photographer Sally Mann (born in 1951).
At present an exhibition showing Mann’s work is on display in Helsinki’s Tennis Palace Art Museum. The exhibition will close on January 6th 2008.
The themes of the artist’s intimate and dreamlike photographs often go back to her own family, while her own children have been posing for the works.
Mann’s exhibition in Helsinki includes photos from her collection Immediate Family (1992), landscapes of American rural areas from her collection called Deep South (1997), a recent collection of work entitled What Remains (2005), as well as some images featuring death.
According to the online news by the Finnish tabloid Iltalehti, seven visitors to the exhibition have asked the police to investigate whether or not Sally Mann’s pictures are an offence against human dignity.
The Director of the Helsinki City Art Museum, Janne Gallen-Kallela-Sirén, reported that the museum has already submitted its own statement to the police. He noted further that the Art Museum does not intend to take any steps in respect of Mann’s photographs.
Mann's images of naked children and dead bodies have caused discomfort on previous occasions, for instance among extreme conservative Christians in the United States. The controversy surrounding some of her work has done nothing to hamper her career: Sally Mann's powerful images continue to be shown in and collected by many major U.S. art galleries and museums.
The Tennis Palace Art Museum, as well as the Art Museum Meilahti and the Kluuvi Gallery, all belong to the Helsinki City Art Museum.
Time magazine named Sally Mann its "Photographer of the Year" for 2001, and she has been the subject of a 2006 film documentary entitled What Remains.
Tennis Palace Art Museum
Sally Mann (Wikipedia)