and Law IV
Creative Rights. On Appropriation, Copyright and Copyleft
Azin Feizabadi, Gilbert & George, Christian de Lutz, Triple
The Creative Rights Library with documentation on Shepard
Fairey vs AP, Richard Prince vs Patrick Cariou, Creative Commons,
The Fair Use Projekt, Piratpartiet, etc.
Opening: 27 November 2009, 8PM
Exhibition duration: 28 November 2009 - 7 February 2010
(closed 18 December 2009 - 3 January 2010)
Open Sat - Sun 2-6PM, exhibition tour 3PM
28 November 2009, 3PM
and related topics for artists. musicians, filmmakers and other
with Andreas Lichtenhahn (lawyer), in German.
(free, registration necessary: firstname.lastname@example.org)
exhibition Creative Rights. On Appropriation, Copyright and Copyleft
investigates questions concerning the use, re-use and misuse of
images and information in the contemporary art world from artistic,
legal, political and philosophical viewpoints.
the late 1970s appropriation of images and information by such artists
as Sherrie Levine and Richard Prince has become a common and accepted
technique, part and parcel of postmodernism's critical approach.
Indeed it follows a tradition that goes back through pop art and
nouveau realisme to Dada and cubist collage. Not without ethical,
aesthetic and legal controversy, a number of law cases involving
appropriation seems to have increased in recent years involving
artists such as Jeff Koons, Richard Prince and Shepard Fairey
exhibition Creative Rights consists of three parts: The exhibition
with four artistic positions, the Creative Rights Library with extensive
material on the presented artists and other recent law cases as
well as a workshop on the theme of copyright.
exhibition shows four positions offering unique views on appropriation,
fair use (a term defining legal use of images outside of copyright
restrictions) and 'copyleft'( the decision of the artist to forego
the protections of copyright).
Candie (curatorial duo Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett) provoked
controversy in 2006 with their exhibition David Hammons: The
Unauthorized Retrospective in which they exhibited color and
black and white copies from books, brochures, catalogues and websites
documenting the work of the American artist David Hammons. The resulting
exhibition, part of which is on display in Creative Rights as a
curatorial quotation, cast a unique critical light on both Hammons
work and art world traditions, and was both highly praised and criticised.
by the Iranian-German artist Azin Feizabadi documents a project
started by the artist in 2004 when he sprayed an image of a woman
in a headscarf using a stencil throughout the Kreuzberg district
of Berlin. The work was initially an homage to his mother, the artist
Farkhondeh Shahroudi, who as an 18 year old during the Iranian Revolution,
sprayed left wing graffiti in Tehran. In 2006 the German glossy
newsweekly Focus used a photograph of the image for its cover, with
the words 'The Multi-cultural Lie" stamped over it. Feizabadi
has chosen to 're-appropriate' the image by signing the magazine
and displaying it as an artwork. His accompanying text contrasts
the work's original context with the magazine's altered (and in
the artist's view mis) use of the image. The work also refers to
the fact that German copyright law allows use of images from the
public space regardless to the original artist's wishes or intent
(as part of the so called 'panorama freedom' clause)
de Lutz's work The Copyright Piece (2009) situates itself
on the border between infringement and fair use, making reference
to this legal gray area, as well as functioning as a critique of
both the current financial and art markets. The artwork consists
of a CD with a sound piece which the artist created by substantially
altering a piece of music. In addition to the CD there is an artist
text and a contract, which offers the work, at no cost, to a collector
who will then assume all rights (and attendant responsibilities,
'legal and otherwise') to the work, with a provision licensing back
limited exhibition usage by the artist. This contract replaces capital
with risk, a nod to the current financial crisis.
(2007) by Gilbert & George, the Italian- British artist
duo, is featured in the exhibition as an example of 'copyleft',
a chosen alternative to traditional copyright. The artists offered
the work as 9 files for download, in cooperation with the BBC and
Guardian newspaper. The work was offered for free to the general
public, without any stated restrictions.
addition to the exhibition there is the Creative Rights Library,
a collection of articles, manifestos and documents covering a number
of topics pertaining to copyright and 'copyleft'.
It features two current cases of artists in copyright disputes.
The American artist Shepard Fairey, known for his now famous Obama
campaign posters, is currently in a legal dispute with the Associated
Press (AP). Both the artist and the AP recognize that the image
Fairey used for the posters was based on photographs taken by an
AP photographer. The dispute is whether Fairey's usage, altered
and in a new context is covered by 'fair use' provisions. The other
case is that between Richard Prince and the photographer Patrick
Cariou. Richard Prince, long famous for his appropriations of 'Marlboro
cowboys' and biker magazine 'girlfriends', used photographs from
Cariou's book Yes Rasta in his recent series of collages 'Canal
Zone'. Earlier this year Cariou filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement.
the library will have materials on the artists in the exhibition
as well as material on both US and German copyright law, Creative
Commons, the Stanford University Fair Use Project as well as the
Swedish and German Pirate Parties. The goal is to provide a wide
range of information and viewpoints on the topics involved.
a third part of Creative Rights on Saturday, 28 November
at 3 PM Art Laboratory Berlin will also present a workshop on Copyright
and Related Themes for Artists, Musicians, Filmmakers and other
Creative Professionals, in German, with the Berlin based lawyer