Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"This is not a true restoration—it’s a reproduction"

The Chicago Reader has more on Israeli artist Yaacov Agam's battle to prevent the reinstallation of his sculpture Communication X9 in a downtown office tower, mentioned earlier here. He continues to maintain that the restoration has resulted in the creation of an unauthorized derivative work:

"The idea that the work is now a copy has more than casual significance. Although this is the kind of mess the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 was devised to address, that legislation—which allowed Chapman Kelley to score a recent court victory over the Chicago Park District for destroying his Grant Park wildflower garden—won’t help Agam. Communication X9 went up in ’83, and the law isn’t retroactive. Before VARA, artists had to rely on protections like copyright, and attorney Scott Hodes, who’s representing Agam, says that area of the law would be applicable here. Hodes says Agam retains the copyright and so his permission would be needed for any derivative work."