Cornelia Sollfrank cornelia at snafu.de
Thu Dec 2 13:11:13 CET 2004


Friday 3 and Saturday 4 December 2004
10 AM. - 12:30 PM   2:30 PM - 5 PM

Centre for Contemporary Images, Saint-Gervais Geneva

To whom do images belong?
Identification with the images peopling our daily
landscape, whether in the media or in
advertising, naturally leads artists to give in
to their influence and use them as a raw material
when elaborating their work. This is how
contemporary artists regularly fall foul of the
law and find themselves involved in litigation
because of their appropriating other's work and
transposing it into the field of art. Who then is
the owner of these images? The creator? The buyer
of the object? The photographer? The artist? Or
the public that enjoys the use of them?

The growing trend to legislate to the extreme and
privatize the public domain raises very real
questions as to the value and ownership of an
image. What leeway in terms of freedom of
expression remains to artists vis-a-vis a
situation whose legal implications and
restrictions that are ever more complex? Liberty
versus protection, protection versus liberty. How
are we paradoxically to protect the work of
artists, who are themselves afraid of copies and
often find themselves powerless when faced with a
situation rife with conflict?

The protection afforded a work of art and an
artist or writer through economic and moral
rights is well known and clearly regulated. Yet a
certain disconnect and mutual incomprehension
characterize the relationship between
contemporary art and law. The constant evolution
of art and its transgressive nature clash with a
well-established system of law and the difficulty
it has with integrating and interpreting the work
of art. Recycling, pastiche of images,
reappropriation, remake, plagiarism or quotation,
do the courts always make allowances for art? And
at what price for artists?

The DROITS D'IMAGES symposium will bring together
artists, art critics, legal specialists and other
professionals from various backgrounds
(philosophy, economy and history) to explore the
complex relationship between art and law and help
members of the audience to better grasp the
question in turn. The symposium comprises four
sessions, which will delve into the notion of the
author and his or her rights, the definition of a
work of art and its originality, the question of
the protection that is extended to art and its
limits, and above all the new perspectives that
are taking shape as alternatives to copyright
law, particularly in the digital domain. The
symposium will also tackle the economic,
political and legal implications of these
questions thanks to the range of themes involved.
Protection for artistic freedom of speech will of
course figure in the discussions. The aim of
these talks is to generate positive avenues of
investigation and thought while leaving a record
of the exchanges in an official document to be drawn up ...

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