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PostPosted: Sun December 9th, 2012, 20:11 GMT 
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Why this might or might not apply to Dylan:


Prince's 2008 Gagosian exhibit "Canal Zone," which included the appropriated images from Cariou, resulted in an order by the original trial judge to destroy all the remaining paintings held by Gagosian (some paintings from the exhibit had been sold to buyers for an amount over $10 million) and an order that none of the purchased work could be resold by buyers, who were contacted by Gagosian and warned that the paintings could not be resold. One journalist, examining the order that demanded that the work be destroyed, compared the judge to "the Taliban." The paintings under contract with Gagosian are in storage while the case waits for a verdict from the New York Court of Appeals. The current litigation against Prince may or may not hamper his ability to show his work at this time and may or may not influence whether Gagosian wishes to mount another show by Prince while his court case is not yet resolved.

Several things might be at play here:

The original ruling in the case was handed down in March 2011. Dylan's show "The Asia Series" was exhibited at Gagosian from September 20 - October 22, 2011. The catalog for "The Asia Series" included an essay by Richard Prince. The original information supplied by Gagosian said that paintings were based on things Dylan has seen during his travels in Asia. This was followed by numerous people finding that the paintings were copied from photographs including one photograph by the master Henri Cartier-Bresson. The idea that no one would find the Cartier Bresson image is ridiculous, since in photography, ripping off Cartier Bresson is akin to ripping off Picasso or Matisse. So why did the gallery originally claim that Dylan painted the works from things he observed in real life? Did the gallery write that up and include it in it's press release without any input from BD? Or was it just something the gallery (or 'the artist') circulated while waiting for the photographs to be discovered and the chatter to begin about the legitimacy of appropriation in the paintings?

Is it possible that work in "The Asia Series" is actually the work of Richard Prince, perhaps fronted by Dylan as someone who was willing to put his name on an exhibition of paintings appropriated from the work of various photographers? And why? Is it possible that Dylan's own use of 'appropriated' materials in his writing would make him so sympathetic to Prince he would agree to such a thing, to make the point (as Prince has done) that it doesn't matter what the artist's intentions are? If the artist's intentions don't matter, does it matter whose name is on the artwork?


There is some argument for this with Dylan, not only his own use of 'cut ups' in his writing but also in his allowing various musicians to 'remix' his original recordings, a practice that now goes to the heart of legal challenges to appropriated words, images and music. Digital technology and the internet have now pushed the concept of what is 'original' work into a realm far beyond what has been examined under copyright law and what may be used in 'referencing' original work and what, beyond that, may be used without any particular reference or commentary upon original work simply 'appropriated' without attribution.

Here's Mark Ronson's remix of "Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEwix-Zi0zw

Here's 2 Live Crew's appropriation of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman." 2 Live Crew won a copyright lawsuit because a court found in 1994 that incorporating Orbison's recording as 'parody' was 'fair use' and not a copyright infringement.
(Note again here the idea that the song 'parodies' the original Orbison recording, which is not the same as allowing musicians to drop in riffs from other recordings just because they like them. And yet this happens all the time now.....does a riff being appropriated need to 'parody' the original work to be 'fair use' or can it just be used because it sounds great?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?=65GQ70Rf_8Y

Possibly Dylan is somehow allied with Prince in spirit and sympathetic in spirit to viewing 'appropriation' as a free speech issue which must be allowed in order not to stamp out any creative reference to the work of others as source material.

OTOH, if taken to an extreme, it might be possible that Prince is allowing BD to show his (Prince's) work at Gagosian under Dylan's name in order to keep his work circulating while his court case proceeds and to make a point (which would be shared by Dylan if he's in cahoots with this) that the artist need not specify his intention or be the final arbiter of the meaning of his work - and if pushed to an extreme. may extend this claim to even the idea of authorship of the work. No artist could wish for a better way to make this case than to have Bob Dylan 'represent' their work with Dylan being presented as the artist.

Do I think BD cares enough about free speech issues to be invested in the outcomes of these court cases on copyright infringement in art? Yes. Do I think BD is enough of a free speech advocate to agree to be the 'author' of a show of artwork by Richard Prince so they can both make the point that intention and attribution of work is now a slippery issue and that the meaning of concepts such as 'artistic intention' and 'authorship' is evolving at the speed of light and can't be legitimately pinned down anymore? Maybe. I also saw someone comment in writing about "The Asia Series" how much the paintings resemble copies made from the photographs if they had been 'outsourced' to workers in China to do the 'replication.' Plus we have Dylan's own words that the person who made those earlier records doesn't exist anymore, as if that might be a comment on BD as the 'author' of his own work these days.


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PostPosted: Sun December 9th, 2012, 20:34 GMT 
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Train-I-Ride wrote:
...OR we could express a multitude of gratitude for the half century of music he's given us and say the guy should do whatever makes him happy that doesn't involve commercial gain, or expose his legacy to further damage- beyond the damage that his live performances have inflicted on his audiences, if not his wallet.


I know what you mean, it's been such a hassle since they passed that law forcing everyone to purchase Dylan's work. Thanks a lot, Obamacare! :x


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PostPosted: Sun December 9th, 2012, 20:46 GMT 
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BostonAreaBobFan wrote:
I posted the Warhol article only as a point of reference for what can happen when facts are hidden and culpability is sought and deflected. I don't think both of these cases are the same; they're not. However, both have a common thread if it's discovered that what's been alleged is true - a blatant & ethical ambiguity of the true artist at the expense of everyone else. Even now, experts don't agree on certain points of both cases (as we know Prince's case is under appeal and Warhol's investors continue to sue).

My points on Gagosian are a different kettle of fish all together but all of them are valid.

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave......"



I know that you did and I originally addressed that in some posts which kept disappearing as I was writing them.
:mrgreen:

It's the 'provenance' of the Warhol 'assistant's' paintings that is in question. In Prince's case, with an injunction filed in a court case that demands that all paintings in the "Canal Zone" series be destroyed (and those that were sold by Gagosian are not eligible for resale) - it's whether or not Prince violated a copyright in producing the paintings. The similar issue is, as you were pointing out, what good is it for a gallery to sell artwork that may have no market value - because it was fraudulently misrepresented or because litigation has (temporarily) removed the work from the marketplace.

In the case of Gagosian (which pocketed 40% of the price on the Prince paintings that were sold at about $3 million each), I think Gagosian wants to be out in front of the legal definition of 'appropriation' because how these court cases (including the one involving Prince) are resolved is of massive importance to the future of art and other media for many years to come. The publicity and legal importance of these decisions is huge. it also benefits Richard Prince, who has been using 'appropriation' as a component of his work for over 3 decades and is probably pleased that his work is at the center of such an important ruling (I would guess). I think the work increases in value just from association with the case, no matter what the appeals court decides. Owning a painting from "Canal Zone" is probably similar to owning a first edition of "Ulysses" (which was famously embargoed upon publication because of obscenity claims).


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PostPosted: Sun December 9th, 2012, 20:55 GMT 
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It is beyond ridiculous to suggest that Bob only make art that Train-I-Ride or anyone else approves of. As if he needs or seeks their validation. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun December 9th, 2012, 20:59 GMT 
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raging_glory wrote:
It is beyond ridiculous to suggest that Bob only make art that Train-I-Ride or anyone else approves of. As if he needs or seeks their validation. :wink:




He's made excellent use of his time over 71 years. Given the amount of great art he's managed to create in his lifetime, it does seem ridiculous for anyone to make comments like 'the clock is ticking.' The 'clock is ticking' for everybody........Bob's got a lot to show for his time.


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PostPosted: Sun December 9th, 2012, 21:02 GMT 
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I agree.

And the clock is ticking for what????


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PostPosted: Sun December 9th, 2012, 21:26 GMT 
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the_revelator wrote:
raging_glory wrote:
It is beyond ridiculous to suggest that Bob only make art that Train-I-Ride or anyone else approves of. As if he needs or seeks their validation. :wink:




He's made excellent use of his time over 71 years. Given the amount of great art he's managed to create in his lifetime, it does seem ridiculous for anyone to make comments like 'the clock is ticking.' The 'clock is ticking' for everybody........Bob's got a lot to show for his time.


Yes! I could only dream of being so productive.


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 01:59 GMT 
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Wait, who says that is what's at stake? I read the link which scottw had linked on the homepage. Isn't this just conjecture at this point? The guy is culling phrases from an interview out of context to suit his theory. I'm not convinced. I'd like to make it to the show if I can work it out. Maybe after Christmas.


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 02:03 GMT 
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I FEEL SO HIP NOW!

YOU ALL LOOK FABULOUS TOO IN THE UPPER EAST SIDE JUST GOTTA SAY!

CARRY ON -- AND PASS THE MUGGLES AND DOM DUDES!!

NAIL THIS BOB-CONSPIRACY!!



“Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.”
― Woody Guthrie


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 02:06 GMT 
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Raging: At stake in general, whether the hypothesis about Prince=Dylan bears out. These are all found images, minimally manipulated, with rudimentary skills involved to produce them (seemingly). What is authorship? Who own an image (or phrase, etc.) and why? Not new questions, but still there they are. If the Dylan/Prince things pans out, it gets at a much deeper issue in the art world, and with celebrity and art values.


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 02:48 GMT 
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Train-I-Ride wrote:
...OR we could express a multitude of gratitude for the half century of music he's given us and say the guy should do whatever makes him happy that doesn't involve commercial gain



Free records, concerts, songs, poems, memoirs, paintings, drawings, pop-culture game-things and autographed harmonicas!!! Yay :)


Train-I-Ride wrote:
expose his legacy to further damage- beyond the damage that his live performances have inflicted on his audiences



I joke but this is ridiculous and offensive. I'm not even going to get into it, but you're being a weenie.


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 05:24 GMT 
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If there is something to this Prince stuff, Bob hasn't been working on a sequel to Chronicles, he's been working on a sequel to Exit Through The Gift Shop!


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 06:31 GMT 
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Hey you over there! I don't have to look at what you're doing, but how about you quit with it already! Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 07:33 GMT 

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I like Bob`s painting!


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 07:45 GMT 
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mjeff wrote:
It's getting embarrassing really.. just sayin.


And so is this lady:

Bob Dylan’s Art Gallery Will Only Let You See Two of His New Artworks Because They’re Not Very Good
By Marina Galperina on Dec 6, 2012


One does not simply walk into the Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue. Inside a luxury multi-office building, you must ask the reception guard which one is the appropriate elevator to the top. The atmosphere is ever grandiose, unlike the Gagosian’s walk-in friendly location in Chelsea. The Bob Dylan “Revisionist Art” room is down the gallery staircase, through a sterile office hallway, and behind a glass door. It is strange.


There was no reception with the artist last week, no big to-do about the opening. These are the only two images officially authorized by the Gagosian to the press. So what were we looking at? 30 tall, smooth, glossy canvases of faux-magazine covers, a mish-mosh of bondage, baby, and mainstream staple titles juxtaposed with seemingly random lead images and article names. There is, of course, some system to it — historical allusions, satire, deliberately counterintuitive absurdism, pop culture critique — it’s just that none of it is very good.

There are a few adequate jokes here and there, but when you see unclothed, unmanicured female crotch on the cover of Architectural Digest, put there by the brilliant lyricist who wrote “Highway 61 Revisited,” it makes one uneasy, regardless of how favorably one may feel about female crotch.



As an art critic, one could strain and imagine that the incomprehensible text is actually Dylan’s of very, very dry commentary on the media machine. Aside from stylistic consistency, there’s nothing much winning about the work on a purely aesthetic, visual level. Giant. Glossy. Bombastic. But maybe… the seemingly random juxtaposition of decades — say, Marilyn as Sharon Stone — could be commentary on the media industry’s incessantly regurgitated headlines untethered by time, its same-formatted sex-baiting themes recycled over and over. The barren pop culture references — take ”Bare-Bosomed Courtney Love Strikes Back!” when Dylan could have made so many other Courtney Love allusions better suited to satire — aren’t nonsensical at all, they’re commentary on the shallow nonsense that is the media. Maybe there’s even a feminist-y Barbara Kruger-esque text art oomph to it all? Maybe, that is, if you want to get really pretentious. And wrong.

Or maybe we’re taking this critique too seriously? There was an occasional sputter of chuckles from half dozen of visibly confused people in the gallery on the day I visited. I remember grinning, but I can’t remember at what. One prim older woman poked her head in and squawked excitedly at the receptionist: “Is this the Bob Dylan?” “Yes.” “The Bob Dylan, really?” “Yes.”

From “the Internet” point of view, had these been a bit more cohesive and catchier, we’d enjoy viewing them in a clickable post, chortling in our cubicles a bit, or what not. But what are these doing in a blue-chip art gallery, especially after Dylan’s last painfully mediocre painting exhibit at the Gagosian was outed for uncredited plagiarizing of images by famous photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson and Dmitri Kessel, leaving him less than dignified and with much to prove?

Hmm. So, there’s this Russian joke, OK? Two New Russians are boasting about their luxury yachts and swank town houses, when one goes: “Oh yeah? Well, I’ve got a rare Stradivari piano.” “I thought he made violins,” the other scoffs. “Ah, but yes, that is why it is so rare!” Bob Dylan made deep contributions to music culture, but these canvases are nothing more than novelty trinkets for the very rich, assuming anyone would want to actually buy them.

.


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 08:45 GMT 
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I'm not an art historian. And I'm not an art scholar or critic. But, I read things and go to exhibits.

And I'm not commenting on whether Dylan ought to stop making the " 'Art' shite".

I'm saying just that having looked at what's available to look at on-line, there are two real possibilities for me regarding the value of the art:

1) On it's surface as presented, it is pretty poor in just about every way as art. And I think it is poor work not just for Dylan, but for any adult with adequate intelligence to have made. I believe that to be true even if I am to take the images as ironic, as a critique of consumer culture and in the tradition of ready-mades and the Warhol project. Dylan's pieces are only feint copies of work that came long before his, show more intelligence and skill. And so, the value of the paintings for the Gagosian is just that they think that the pieces will sell for enough money to make it worth their trouble. And Dylan is willing to display and sell these works...whether he thinks they are good or not.

2) It's an elaborate commentary about and critique of celebrity artists, galleries, and the economics of the art business. In which case, it has the potential to be interesting. But it has that potential precisely because the actual pieces are so deeply uninteresting to me. The problem of their being both quite dull and uninteresting and being on exhibit and for sale at the Gagosian must be part of the art itself. That is why the Richard Prince connection interests me. Prince seems to have pushed out the idea of art to some fairly distant places. WIth or without Prince's direct involvement, if Dylan is playing at Prince's game, I am interested in sorting through it. In this case the value of the art works lies in their helping to get a more public and widespread conversation going about the crass and stupid culture of the art business.

Even if #1 is the case, so be it -- I celebrate his freedom and a market economy. But, I certainly can't help but weigh it in my assessment of his artistry, his judgment, his intelligence and his talents.


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 08:57 GMT 
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raging_glory wrote:
Wait, who says that is what's at stake? I read the link which scottw had linked on the homepage. Isn't this just conjecture at this point? The guy is culling phrases from an interview out of context to suit his theory. I'm not convinced. I'd like to make it to the show if I can work it out. Maybe after Christmas.




Yes, it's conjecture although the possible ways that BD can be connected to Richard Prince beyond Prince having written an essay for the "Asia Series" catalog seem too many to count. I don't much like "The Asia Series" or the current work (from what we've seen) in the "Revisionism" exhibit. I have no problem with "The Asia Series" being heavily based on photographs. But the paintings in themselves (like the "Revisionism" magazine covers) aren't very good or particularly interesting.

However, if any of this work was actually done by Richard Prince but exhibited as work by BD, then it becomes very interesting. It adds something to the paintings/silkscreens that doesn't exist if they were conceived and made by Dylan. If they are Prince's work, or work that Dylan made in collaboration with Prince, they become groundbreaking as work about the 'authorship' of a work of art in much the same way that Warhol's appropriation of Campbell's soup cans was groundbreaking in the history of art. If two big time artist celebrities have agreed to reattribute 'authorship' of paintings already using appropriated imagery from Richard Prince to Bob Dylan (in the middle of Prince being embroiled in what is likely to be an important legal case about when appropriation of existing source material is legitimate), it would be extraordinary. Part of the problem with Prince's legal position is that he lost his initial case where other artists like Jeff Koons and 2 Live Crew won their copyright cases by asserting that their borrowing of imagery was for the purpose of 'parodying' the work they borrowed from. Prince initially refused to say in depositions that his work was a parody of Cariou's photographs or to explain exactly what his intention was when borrowing Cariou's photographs. That refusal to explain the intention of his work seems to be the thing that most bothered (annoyed would probably be a better word) the judge in his case, who complained that Prince didn't offer any explanation for why he used the photographs or what they were supposed to mean. It was extraordinary that the judge was so offended by Prince's work that she ordered the paintings destroyed. Since when can a judge order that an artist must destroy his artwork because it may violate a copyright issue? Most people can understand how crazy - and also stupid and reactionary - the judge's ruling was. (Cariou v Prince).

It's fun to think that BD and Prince might have entered into some agreement to undermine all of this reactionary response to appropriation and the intention of the artist by upping the ante and agreeing to undermine the issue of 'authorship' itself by switching attribution of the "Asia Series" and/or "Revisionism" from Richard Prince to Bob Dylan. It would be great if the work was done by Prince but attributed to Dylan. Dylan himself seems fed up enough when questioned about his own appropriation ("And if you think it's so easy to quote [Henry Timrod] and it can help your work, do it yourself and see how far you get." - Rolling Stone) that it's easy to believe he's sympathetic to Prince's problems. Plus Bob has historically been on the side of the argument that 'an artist doesn't have to say what his intentions are or what his work means, that's not the job of the artist', so we may be able to surmise that he's as dumbfounded as everyone else that Prince lost his lawsuit on the basis of not explaining what his work is intended to mean. Any agreement with Prince to be in cahoots about the work shown at Gagosian would raise BD's art from what is currently appears to be to a level of terrific conceptual art or outrageous work that is subversively criticizing the theory of authorship. Either of those two things are more interesting than if the work is just what is appears to be - art by Bob Dylan.

Maybe BD has no involvement in any of this. But is BD sophisticated enough about art to think it would be interesting conceptually to do something like that? Sure, easily. BD has been commenting about the fluidity of the artist's identity for decades (a major theme in Renaldo and Clara). In addition, is BD such a fan of free speech and the first amendment that he might enjoy being part of some gallery trickery to goose a legal system that currently isn't quite sure where it stands on the issues of appropriation and authorship of art? That doesn't seem farfetched either. This is the guy who said, when questioned about appropriation, "I'm not going to limit what I can say. I have to be true to the song." (RS). Prince's court case, as it currently stands, is all about the legal system limiting what kind of art Richard Prince is allowed to make. The court that didn't like Prince's disinclination to explain the meaning of his work ordered that Prince's paintings had to be destroyed. Imagine a court case where a judge rules that all copies of an album by Dylan must be destroyed and prohibits Dylan from performing certain of his songs in concert and you have an idea what's at stake. If you were BD you might be fed up enough to be involved in undermining a legal system that would support this kind of beatdown of a legitimate artist.

So yes it's all conjecture. But there is a rationale that it's not entirely ridiculous.


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 09:16 GMT 
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MMD wrote:

2) It's an elaborate commentary about.......In which case, it has the potential to be interesting. But it has that potential precisely because the actual pieces are so deeply uninteresting to me. The problem of their being both quite dull and uninteresting and being on exhibit and for sale at the Gagosian must be part of the art itself.


Which could be a nice description of the early work of Andy Warhol. Warhol's early work like the Brillo boxes, Campbells soup cans and cow wallpaper so angered and bewildered people that they responded by mocking it and in some cases spitting on it when it was initially shown in galleries and museums. People couldn't figure out why an artist was exhibiting work that seemed so unoriginal, so uninteresting, so stupid. Warhol is, in hindsight, the most influential and possibly greatest artist of the second half of the 20th Century. But it took a long time for both critics and the public to understand what was interesting about Warhol. As with other artists, Duchamp being a great example, why Warhol made the work wasn't immediately accessible. People were not initially inclined to examine the intention of Warhol's work, they were just bothered that it looked so stupid.

The fact that the work looked stupid/uninteresting is probably why somebody once traded one of Warhol's early silkscreens for a couch........


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 09:22 GMT 
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^ Ha!

I so hope that this game around authorship is afoot in "Dylan's" show at the Gagosian. It would also, possibly, greatly improve my opinion of the Gagosian.


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 09:25 GMT 
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the_revelator wrote:
Yes, it's conjecture although the possible ways that BD can be connected to Richard Prince beyond Prince having written an essay for the "Asia Series" catalog seem too many to count. I don't much like "The Asia Series" or the current work (from what we've seen) in the "Revisionism" exhibit. I have no problem with "The Asia Series" being heavily based on photographs. But the paintings in themselves (like the "Revisionism" magazine covers) aren't very good or particularly interesting.

However, if any of this work was actually done by Richard Prince but exhibited as work by BD, then it becomes very interesting. It adds something to the paintings/silkscreens that doesn't exist if they were conceived and made by Dylan. If they are Prince's work, or work that Dylan made in collaboration with Prince, they become groundbreaking as work about the 'authorship' of a work of art in much the same way that Warhol's appropriation of Campbell's soup cans was groundbreaking in the history of art. If two big time artist celebrities have agreed to reattribute 'authorship' of paintings already using appropriated imagery from Richard Prince to Bob Dylan (in the middle of Prince being embroiled in what is likely to be an important legal case about when appropriation of existing source material is legitimate), it would be extraordinary. Part of the problem with Prince's legal position is that he lost his initial case where other artists like Jeff Koons and 2 Live Crew won their copyright cases by asserting that their borrowing of imagery was for the purpose of 'parodying' the work they borrowed from. Prince initially refused to say in depositions that his work was a parody of Cariou's photographs or to explain exactly what his intention was when borrowing Cariou's photographs. That refusal to explain the intention of his work seems to be the thing that most bothered (annoyed would probably be a better word) the judge in his case, who complained that Prince didn't offer any explanation for why he used the photographs or what they were supposed to mean. It was extraordinary that the judge was so offended by Prince's work that she ordered the paintings destroyed. Since when can a judge order that an artist must destroy his artwork because it may violate a copyright issue? Most people can understand how crazy - and also stupid and reactionary - the judge's ruling was. (Cariou v Prince).

It's fun to think that BD and Prince might have entered into some agreement to undermine all of this reactionary response to appropriation and the intention of the artist by upping the ante and agreeing to undermine the issue of 'authorship' itself by switching attribution of the "Asia Series" and/or "Revisionism" from Richard Prince to Bob Dylan. It would be great if the work was done by Prince but attributed to Dylan. Dylan himself seems fed up enough when questioned about his own appropriation ("And if you think it's so easy to quote [Henry Timrod] and it can help your work, do it yourself and see how far you get." - Rolling Stone) that it's easy to believe he's sympathetic to Prince's problems. Plus Bob has historically been on the side of the argument that 'an artist doesn't have to say what his intentions are or what his work means, that's not the job of the artist', so we may be able to surmise that he's as dumbfounded as everyone else that Prince lost his lawsuit on the basis of not explaining what his work is intended to mean. Any agreement with Prince to be in cahoots about the work shown at Gagosian would raise BD's art from what is currently appears to be to a level of terrific conceptual art or outrageous work that is subversively criticizing the theory of authorship. Either of those two things are more interesting than if the work is just what is appears to be - art by Bob Dylan.

Maybe BD has no involvement in any of this. But is BD sophisticated enough about art to think it would be interesting conceptually to do something like that? Sure, easily. BD has been commenting about the fluidity of the artist's identity for decades (a major theme in Renaldo and Clara). In addition, is BD such a fan of free speech and the first amendment that he might enjoy being part of some gallery trickery to goose a legal system that currently isn't quite sure where it stands on the issues of appropriation and authorship of art? That doesn't seem farfetched either. This is the guy who said, when questioned about appropriation, "I'm not going to limit what I can say. I have to be true to the song." (RS). Prince's court case, as it currently stands, is all about the legal system limiting what kind of art Richard Prince is allowed to make. The court that didn't like Prince's disinclination to explain the meaning of his work ordered that Prince's paintings had to be destroyed. Imagine a court case where a judge rules that all copies of an album by Dylan must be destroyed and prohibits Dylan from performing certain of his songs in concert and you have an idea what's at stake. If you were BD you might be fed up enough to be involved in undermining a legal system that would support this kind of beatdown of a legitimate artist.

So yes it's all conjecture. But there is a rationale that it's not entirely ridiculous.


That's a helpful post, Rev. Thanks. Dylan certainly seemed genuinely disturbed by the appropriation questions in the RS interview. And what's happening in Love and Theft and Modern Times (at least) is fascinating for pop music.


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 12:34 GMT 
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I think rev might be onto something, fascinating stuff!

I also find it telling that the best defense any of us fans can offer is that these pieces are really by somebody else :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 13:07 GMT 
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smoke wrote:
I think rev might be onto something, fascinating stuff!


you mean about the assless pants? :lol:





I also find it telling that the best defense any of us fans can offer is that these pieces are really by somebody else :lol:



I don't think the pieces need defending. I just think that the only way they'll be 'good' is if Richard Prince made them. The pieces will look the same no matter who made them. But if Richard Prince made them, they are better than if Bob did.


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 13:08 GMT 
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the_revelator wrote:
raging_glory wrote:
Wait, who says that is what's at stake? I read the link which scottw had linked on the homepage. Isn't this just conjecture at this point? The guy is culling phrases from an interview out of context to suit his theory. I'm not convinced. I'd like to make it to the show if I can work it out. Maybe after Christmas.




Yes, it's conjecture although the possible ways that BD can be connected to Richard Prince beyond Prince having written an essay for the "Asia Series" catalog seem too many to count. I don't much like "The Asia Series" or the current work (from what we've seen) in the "Revisionism" exhibit. I have no problem with "The Asia Series" being heavily based on photographs. But the paintings in themselves (like the "Revisionism" magazine covers) aren't very good or particularly interesting.

However, if any of this work was actually done by Richard Prince but exhibited as work by BD, then it becomes very interesting. It adds something to the paintings/silkscreens that doesn't exist if they were conceived and made by Dylan. If they are Prince's work, or work that Dylan made in collaboration with Prince, they become groundbreaking as work about the 'authorship' of a work of art in much the same way that Warhol's appropriation of Campbell's soup cans was groundbreaking in the history of art. If two big time artist celebrities have agreed to reattribute 'authorship' of paintings already using appropriated imagery from Richard Prince to Bob Dylan (in the middle of Prince being embroiled in what is likely to be an important legal case about when appropriation of existing source material is legitimate), it would be extraordinary. Part of the problem with Prince's legal position is that he lost his initial case where other artists like Jeff Koons and 2 Live Crew won their copyright cases by asserting that their borrowing of imagery was for the purpose of 'parodying' the work they borrowed from. Prince initially refused to say in depositions that his work was a parody of Cariou's photographs or to explain exactly what his intention was when borrowing Cariou's photographs. That refusal to explain the intention of his work seems to be the thing that most bothered (annoyed would probably be a better word) the judge in his case, who complained that Prince didn't offer any explanation for why he used the photographs or what they were supposed to mean. It was extraordinary that the judge was so offended by Prince's work that she ordered the paintings destroyed. Since when can a judge order that an artist must destroy his artwork because it may violate a copyright issue? Most people can understand how crazy - and also stupid and reactionary - the judge's ruling was. (Cariou v Prince).

It's fun to think that BD and Prince might have entered into some agreement to undermine all of this reactionary response to appropriation and the intention of the artist by upping the ante and agreeing to undermine the issue of 'authorship' itself by switching attribution of the "Asia Series" and/or "Revisionism" from Richard Prince to Bob Dylan. It would be great if the work was done by Prince but attributed to Dylan. Dylan himself seems fed up enough when questioned about his own appropriation ("And if you think it's so easy to quote [Henry Timrod] and it can help your work, do it yourself and see how far you get." - Rolling Stone) that it's easy to believe he's sympathetic to Prince's problems. Plus Bob has historically been on the side of the argument that 'an artist doesn't have to say what his intentions are or what his work means, that's not the job of the artist', so we may be able to surmise that he's as dumbfounded as everyone else that Prince lost his lawsuit on the basis of not explaining what his work is intended to mean. Any agreement with Prince to be in cahoots about the work shown at Gagosian would raise BD's art from what is currently appears to be to a level of terrific conceptual art or outrageous work that is subversively criticizing the theory of authorship. Either of those two things are more interesting than if the work is just what is appears to be - art by Bob Dylan.

Maybe BD has no involvement in any of this. But is BD sophisticated enough about art to think it would be interesting conceptually to do something like that? Sure, easily. BD has been commenting about the fluidity of the artist's identity for decades (a major theme in Renaldo and Clara). In addition, is BD such a fan of free speech and the first amendment that he might enjoy being part of some gallery trickery to goose a legal system that currently isn't quite sure where it stands on the issues of appropriation and authorship of art? That doesn't seem farfetched either. This is the guy who said, when questioned about appropriation, "I'm not going to limit what I can say. I have to be true to the song." (RS). Prince's court case, as it currently stands, is all about the legal system limiting what kind of art Richard Prince is allowed to make. The court that didn't like Prince's disinclination to explain the meaning of his work ordered that Prince's paintings had to be destroyed. Imagine a court case where a judge rules that all copies of an album by Dylan must be destroyed and prohibits Dylan from performing certain of his songs in concert and you have an idea what's at stake. If you were BD you might be fed up enough to be involved in undermining a legal system that would support this kind of beatdown of a legitimate artist.

So yes it's all conjecture. But there is a rationale that it's not entirely ridiculous.


Thanks for this, rev. You have gone a way in convincing me of this possibility, much more than the blog.


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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 13:12 GMT 

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I think Rev and MMD are on the right track, and it's a fascinating one. Coincidentally, the New York Times did a philosophical op-ed piece last week on one of Andy Warhol's creation, the "Brillo Box". There is no question we have shades of Warhol in this current Dylan mystery. The reader's comments are very interesting and many could easily be applied to this discussion. Here's a few of them and a link to the whole article and comments -

_________________________________________________________
From the New York Times - 12/6/2012

"CPittsburgh, PANYT Pick

Warhol was going back to the Dada. Making a joke of what art has become and the artists producing such art (including himself). Warhol saw that the only criteria for good american art in the 20th century was something that SELLS. He wasn't making some groundbreaking philosophical point about a campbell's soupcan being art, he was making a joke. And actually, for everyone that wants to criticize him, he was one of the only artists that actually understood and took full advantage of what art had become in his time. And isn't that what Da Vinci did? Or Picasso? All artists are subject to the trends of their time. It doesn't make them any less of an artist."

_________________________________________________________

"johnpRaleigh, NCNYT Pick

The so-called "art world" has imposed this vision for decades now, elevating artistic non-entities like Warhol and the bling-bling vulgarians of today. It is a colossal Ponzi scheme that has enriched them and their critic-galleriste-curator enablers.

Art based on aesthetic beauty will bounce back because its roots are in spontaneous, sensuous appreciation. The insipid, pseudo-intellectual output of 'theory' will eventually wither, having never been anything but a bluff."

_________________________________________________________

"MMNew York

It always amazes me when people underestimate Warhol's genuine talent. I defy anyone to look at Warhol's commercial work before he became the pop artist we know of today and not see his extraordinary talent. He was in fact in the 1950s the most sought after commercial artist in NYC. He came to NYC at 21 years old with nothing and within several years (before he became the pop artist we now of today) was able to buy a townhouse on the Upper East Side with his earnings. I'd like to see even 1% if artists today duplicate his success today. It may never happen again.

As for the Brillo Boxes, he was making statement. Warhol was a genius and aa giant. I would go so far to say that Warhol was the last American genius America ever produced. If anyone thinks its so easy to do what he did just try to do it today."

_________________________________________________________


"Jonathan I KatzSt. Louis, Mo.

This guy was not an artist, just a skilled self-promoter who pretended to be. All the people who went along with this scam did so because they were beneficiaries: galleries selling the work, collectors inflating the value of their purchases, curators and scholars building careers... Everyday junk is everyday junk, even if someone pretends otherwise.

Hans Christian Andersen had a famous story about this. Believe your own eyes."

_________________________________________________________

"ContrarianSoutheast

Warhol was not much of an artist. He was a provocative thinker who used his moderate artistic talent to provoke thought and discussion. I find that people who revel in his "art" are typically more interested in the theory than the object. Nothing wrong with that, but to most people it is pretty dry stuff."

_________________________________________________________

"AnnChicago, Ill.NYT Pick

Art is very much about the perception of the world as it exists at the time of the artist or about how that artist views the future as it evolves from what is currently happening in the world. Warhol spoke of banal materialism that inhabits contemporary thoughts and how advertising repeats over and over again whatever it is attempting to sell. This repetition is used for soup, cleaning products or movie stars. Warhol also expressed a disdain for craftsmanship in his silkscreens mirroring a similar lack of attention to craftsmanship/skill in creating objects: useful or artistic in current society."

_________________________________________________________


"MartinNew York

Warhol tried to show that there was no difference between art & any other commodity. If he was right, his work really is worth no more than the everyday items it imitiates. If he was wrong, his work is misguided, & worthless as art. Warhol commands stratospheric prices and critical adulation because we need to pretend that our lives--emptied of real value or purpose & filled only with the cheap mass-produced crap & entertainment we covet & buy--actually means something."

_________________________________________________________



http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/praising-andy-warhol/


Last edited by chrome horse on Mon December 10th, 2012, 13:15 GMT, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon December 10th, 2012, 13:13 GMT 
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raging:


I think the blog guy was positing it as a joke. And in that sense, his column was awesome. But I'm positing that the whole thing is really real.


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