Friday, May 01, 2009

"I think that copyright comes into conflict with critical discourse"

At the press preview for the Met's new "Pictures Generation" show, Lee Rosenbaum talks to curator/critic Douglas Crimp -- and sneaks a little art law into the conversation:

"Q: How does this show relate to the Shepard Fairey controversy?

"A: These were among the artists who tested the copyright laws and the whole notion of appropriating images became a kind of discourse, so younger artists could pick up on it very easily.

"Q: Do you think the Fairey controversy is making a mountain out of a molehill, because we've already established the appropriateness of this type of use by artists?

"A: No, because copyright is still a huge legal issue. I myself have huge issues with the notion of 'fair use'---whether or not a critic should be able to publish an image without having to pay huge rights fees or, for that matter, to clear the text with the estate of the artist to make sure that they control what can be said. I think that copyright comes into conflict with critical discourse."