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Thread: Sherrie Levine

  1. #41
    Curt's Avatar
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    Wouldn't an 'original' be simply something issued by the 'original' artist?
    Not that many photographers are original but it is true that any number of original performances of the score are possible. That's a good point.

    Curt
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  2. #42
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    Composers have appropriated the music of others as well as themselves since forever, and made original new work as a consequence. Pieces of that kind are often encountered as 'variations on a theme of...'. Ms. Levine's work seems more akin to performance...i.e....one purchases a piece of 'sheet music', learns to play/sing it, and perform it. It then becomes the performers' music in that they've made it unique by offering what no one else can...their own 'voice' which is commonly regarded as an interpretation. But her work adds no such discernible contribution.

    The issue, as I see it, is that such a performance makes sense in a temporal medium, but not in a concrete one. Temporally, there can be an infinite variety of nuances that are injected by the force of the interpreter's 'voice' making its utterance in the moment. In Levine's work, there's no creative force...no collaboration between composer and performer that enobles the original by the imagination of the interpreter. It's an experiment that completely fails in my view.
    John Voss

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  3. #43

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    This discussion reminds me of a famous quote by T.S. Eliiot: "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal."

    I am not a big fan of her work, but incorporating the ideas of others or appropriating or copying has a long tradition in art. Warhol "stole" the image for Green Car Crash from a newspaper (just sold at auction for around $80 million IIRC) and while not using a photograph, he made money for himself and future speculators by copying Campbell Soup cans. I Don't think the original designer or firm made anything from the endeavor.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chinn View Post
    I am not a big fan of her work, but incorporating the ideas of others or appropriating or copying has a long tradition in art. Warhol "stole" the image for Green Car Crash from a newspaper (just sold at auction for around $80 million IIRC) and while not using a photograph, he made money for himself and future speculators by copying Campbell Soup cans. I Don't think the original designer or firm made anything from the endeavor.
    Can I ask if you think they should have? I mean - do you and Jovo and others here REALLY think that warhol was thinking...

    "wow... the design of the campbell's soup can is REALLY BRILLIANT... and if I could just find a way of stealing the image - I could capitalize on the innate beauty of the can - and people would pay millions for it - !!" - ?

    Do you really think that's what's going on here?

    Jovo - as for your statement - I would exchange the 'temporality' you refer to and swap that out with 'context of the discussion happening within the art community' - and therein lies the contribution. You're looking a little too closely at it... you might want to step back a bit. But anyway- I'm sure this is falling on deaf ears.

    NOTE: I'm not trying to be populist when I say this... I'm not saying it's GOOD work or 'brilliant' or anything. I'm NOT supporting it at all. But I AM supporting it's right to exist. I think it's INTERESTING work - and I think it's VERY important in it's contribution to our culture. That's all.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    Can I ask if you think they should have? I mean - do you and Jovo and others here REALLY think that warhol was thinking...

    "wow... the design of the campbell's soup can is REALLY BRILLIANT... and if I could just find a way of stealing the image - I could capitalize on the innate beauty of the can - and people would pay millions for it - !!" - ?

    Do you really think that's what's going on here?

    Jovo - as for your statement - I would exchange the 'temporality' you refer to and swap that out with 'context of the discussion happening within the art community' - and therein lies the contribution. You're looking a little too closely at it... you might want to step back a bit. But anyway- I'm sure this is falling on deaf ears.

    NOTE: I'm not trying to be populist when I say this... I'm not saying it's GOOD work or 'brilliant' or anything. I'm NOT supporting it at all. But I AM supporting it's right to exist. I think it's INTERESTING work - and I think it's VERY important in it's contribution to our culture. That's all.

    Speaking for myself only, I think that Warhols was sort of thinking that in a way...among other things.

    I think he celebrated popular culture, I think he liked elevating the mundane, I think he found the mundane beautiful and I think he liked feeding people crap and having them ask for seconds.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
    Speaking for myself only, I think that Warhols was sort of thinking that in a way...among other things.

    I think he celebrated popular culture, I think he liked elevating the mundane, I think he found the mundane beautiful and I think he liked feeding people crap and having them ask for seconds.
    Yeah maybe - except I think he probably thought he was subverting it ENOUGH to make it that way. On some level. I used to disdain warhol... though he's been growing on me a bit - perhaps the more I learn about the specific frame of reference of the culture - and what he was up against. I tend to be a bit anti-populist in my leanings though (i.e. - it took me a long time to like U2 as a band). But anyway.

    My POINT, however - was to suggest that the strength of warhol or levine wasn't so much a referent to the original work, so much as "look at me... I'm such a bad boy/girl and I'm getting away with appropriating this other work and signing it even..." - sorry - awkwardly phrased - but I'm sure you get my drift.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan McIntosh View Post
    You have one of my prints...feel free to appropriate it all you like! Just make sure you have a really strong concept to back yourself up!
    "I own...therefore I art"

    Matt's Photo Site
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin

  8. #48

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    My first wife Cath Milne -- no mean artist herself -- used to collect books where all you needed to read was the title: the content was so predictable that it was in effect redundant.

    A lot of conceptual art, and meta-art, and the like, seems to me to be the same way. At most, it needs to be done once -- R. Mutt's famous urinal -- and often it doesn't need to be done at all: merely communicating the idea (verbally) is sufficient.

    Pop art was a sort of half-way house, where ideas could be re-used -- but most people have to think REALLY HARD to remember anything more than Campbell's Soup and Marilyn from Warhol. I preferred Liechtenstein's comic-book stuff anyway -- and Senggye Ar Born has done some excellent work in the same vein.

    Op art (think Bridget Riley) had, for me, tipped over into the purely intellectual. It was sometimes interesting illustration or decoration, but for me it was hardly art because it had nowhere to go -- rather like a lot of concrete poetry from the same era.

    Then again, there are two sorts of artists. Those who are always trying something new, and those who do the same thing again and again. The latter are often more commercially successful because they're easier to understand, and because their work is often more decorative (think Alma-Tadema) but the former are often more interesting, at least to me. Then again, being 'interesting' doesn't mean that their work is something I would necessarily want to live with.

    Is Levine's work plagiarism? Not exactly. But it's an idea that has, I think, been beaten to death -- at which point, for me, it's not exactly art either,

    Cheers,

    Roger

  9. #49

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    No,I don't think the originators of the soup can logo/design deserve anything. I guess my point with the Eliot quote is that artists have stolen ideas and techniques from each other for centuries. It was often seen as more a form of flatery rather then outright copying. Walk through a bunch of galleries in NY and it does not take long to find people still making a lot of money making derivitives of drip paintings, field paintings and still using cubist ideas.

    Anyway, as with all art, the marketplace is the final arbitor of what is valued. One thing you will notice is that the art world does not pay great prices for photographs made by photographers. They will pay huge sums for work created by artists who sometimes use photography in their art. Richard Prince is a good example. He works in a lot of other mediums besides photography. For Warhol, a photograph was simply the starting point to get the his final silkscreen creations.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    My first wife Cath Milne -- no mean artist herself -- used to collect books where all you needed to read was the title: the content was so predictable that it was in effect redundant.

    A lot of conceptual art, and meta-art, and the like, seems to me to be the same way. At most, it needs to be done once -- R. Mutt's famous urinal -- and often it doesn't need to be done at all: merely communicating the idea (verbally) is sufficient.

    Pop art was a sort of half-way house, where ideas could be re-used -- but most people have to think REALLY HARD to remember anything more than Campbell's Soup and Marilyn from Warhol. I preferred Liechtenstein's comic-book stuff anyway -- and Senggye Ar Born has done some excellent work in the same vein.

    Op art (think Bridget Riley) had, for me, tipped over into the purely intellectual. It was sometimes interesting illustration or decoration, but for me it was hardly art because it had nowhere to go -- rather like a lot of concrete poetry from the same era.

    Then again, there are two sorts of artists. Those who are always trying something new, and those who do the same thing again and again. The latter are often more commercially successful because they're easier to understand, and because their work is often more decorative (think Alma-Tadema) but the former are often more interesting, at least to me. Then again, being 'interesting' doesn't mean that their work is something I would necessarily want to live with.

    Is Levine's work plagiarism? Not exactly. But it's an idea that has, I think, been beaten to death -- at which point, for me, it's not exactly art either,

    Cheers,

    Roger
    Excellent post, Roger. I'd offer up the notion that cultural evolution, not unlike biological evolution, produces a lot of cul de sacs. Dead ends are dead ends but they're only known to be so because someone ventured there. All exploration has value.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.



 

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