Thursday, April 16, 2009

"In the case of graffiti, the ICA gave Shepard many sanctioned places in which to do outdoor work, so he didn't need to deface public property"

Richard Lacayo has a little Q&A up with Jill Medvedow, the director of Boston's Institute of Contemporary Arts, which currently is hosting a Shepard Fairey show. Naturally some legal issues come up. She says Fairey's arrest on the night of the opening "was a highly choreographed event for maximum drama" -- "Shepard could have been easily found by the police before that night." And in response to the question how she deals "with the question of whether you're encouraging vandalism by legitimizing work that one way or another ends up on somebody else's property," she responds: "People have said 'How would you like it if I put grafitti on your house or on the side of your museum?' I would not like it at all. But ... [w]hat I think links the two areas in which Shepard is in court, the vandalism charges and the lawsuit with Associated Press, is the issue of consent. Who gets to decide what's in the public space? Who gets to decide what is a work of art?"