Here's a look at what's in the limelight for the week of March 21, 2011 in national arts news.
Artist Appropriating Another's Work Ruled Unconstitutional
The artist Richard Prince, long known for appropriating the work of other artists, lost a long-running court case last week when federal judge Deborah A. Batt of Manhattan ruled that his use of another artist's photographs in his own work violated copyright law. According to the suit, Prince used 41 photographs from the photographer Patrick Carou's book, Yes, Rasta, in artwork of his own, a series of collages and paintings called Canal Zone. According to fair-use copyright laws, one artist can borrow the work of another if, as the judge wrote in her decision, the new work "in some way comment[s] on, relate[s] to the historical context of, or critically refer[s] back to the original work." According to her, Richard Prince had no interest in changing Carou's work at all. All as yet unsold paintings and collages will be impounded, and collectors who've already acquired work from the Canal Zone series have been informed that it's in violation of copyright law to display them. A gallery that was planning to exhibit Prince's work has canceled his upcoming show.
- Read about the case in the New York Times.
In Hawaii, Orchestra Will Play Again
The Honolulu Symphony declared bankruptcy in October and was forced to liquify, but after a long hiatus, it has been revived. At an auction last week, a group of prominent local community members and businesspeople paid $210,000 for the Symphony's assets, which include a harp, two grand pianos, and percussion instruments. It's the first step in a movement to revive the 111-year-old orchestra.
- Visit the Honolulu Symphony online.
Twyla Tharp To Lead North American Collaboration In Dance
The Atlanta Ballet will collaborate with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet on an evening-length dance by legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp. The new ballet is based on the writings of the Scottish author George MacDonald, and will feature music based on work by Schubert, arranged by the composer Richard Burke. The first collaboration between the American and Canadian ballet companies, the Twyla Project, as they've been calling it, will premiere in Atlanta in February of 2012. Twyla Tharp was born in 1941 in Portland, Indiana. After studying with Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham in the 1960s, she went on to choreograph more than 135 dances, five movies, and four Broadway shows, and to receive numerous awards and distinctions, including a Tony award, two Emmy awards, and a MacArthur Fellowship.
Palin Enters Debate Over Federal Funding For NPR
As the economy flounders and the debate continues in the Senate over federal funding for National Public Radio and the National Endowment for the Arts, those organizations are under scrutiny. Former Alaska governor and television commentator Sarah Palin appeared on Fox News last week to offer her perspective on NPR and the NEA, which she characterized as "frivolous." Citing the $14 trillion national debt and 15 million Americans who are currently unemployed, Palin told Fox host Sean Hannity that the government "shouldn't be in the business of funding [national arts programs] with tax dollars," and that such programs should be "on the chopping block." In its coverage of the interview, the LA Times countered that "the nonprofit arts and culture industry supports 5.7 million jobs and generates $116.2 billion in annual economic activity."