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Author Topic: Plagiarism?  (Read 11863 times)
kencameron
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« on: September 03, 2012, 12:58:50 AM »
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Below are shots taken at a James Turrell installation at the National Gallery of Australia. I think they are quite pretty. But are they in some sense plagiarized? I am inclined to say yes, because obvious qualities in the photographs - striking colors, curved and straight lines, light and darkness - are very much given in the original art work.

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Keith Reeder
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2012, 08:57:53 AM »
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Maybe not plagiarised, but certainly not remotely original...
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Keith Reeder
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Rob C
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2012, 10:18:18 AM »
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I clicked on the link and read for as long as I could bear it.

It's the sort of writing that I find to be an instant turn-off because I see it as an essential aid to making much ado about not a lot. Give some everyday situation a special name and it become an artistic specialty. In the end, it might as well be shots through anything, just as long as that anything remains a constant within the nomenclature of the genre.

In fact, it detracts from the images it's meant to laud, images that, left to themselves, might be perfectly interesting in their own right.

Ah the fun of being a curator; or even of being an 'educator' to the great unwashed!

Rob C
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kencameron
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2012, 05:24:16 PM »
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Maybe not plagiarised, but certainly not remotely original...
Of course not. No claim of originality was made. In describing the images as "quite pretty" I was damning with faint praise, and would be happy to withdraw even that. I certainly wouldn't claim originality for any of my photographs and I don't find it in very many on Lula or elsewhere. My point, about what exactly is happening when a work of art is photographed (or, to generalize, "quoted" as in sampling), would have been better made through better images, but I still think there is an issue in there somewhere.
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kencameron
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2012, 05:25:43 PM »
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I clicked on the link and read for as long as I could bear it.
Fair enough, but you would be making a mistake, IMHO, if you avoided James Turrell's work because you didn't like this particular write up. His Canberra installation is for me a sacred space, a place to be which calms the mind and gives pleasure.
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WalterEG
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2012, 06:10:46 PM »
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Ken,

Is it really plagiarism?  Or is it an interpretation through you experience of seeing the work and an attempt to convey in part the effect of that experience?

Cheers,

W
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kencameron
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2012, 06:38:08 PM »
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Good question, Walter. I am now thinking that it would be plagiarism if it didn't really add anything (in which case my shots would, I fear, be plagiarism), but justifiable if it built on the original, by way of the sorts of personal responses you refer to.
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nemo295
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2012, 01:25:04 PM »
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It's plagiarism if you try to pass it off as your own work. Photographing someone's else's art doesn't make it your art.
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fike
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2012, 01:37:16 PM »
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It's not plagiarism, but this gets to the reason that I don't enjoy photographing art or architecture.  With this kind of photo work I am guaranteed to be piggy-backing on the artistic vision of someone else.  For this reason, I prefer the "found-art" feeling of landscape work or the challenge of capturing the uniqueness and individuality of a person's portrait.  If an artistic installation is done right, a photographer can't lose--amateur or pro.  That isn't challenging or rewarding work to me.
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2012, 03:16:54 PM »
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Marc, There are at least dozens, probably hundreds of pictures by various people, including some of the most successful photographers in the world (Ansel Adams, Cartier-Bresson, etc.), of the San Francisco de Asis church at Ranches de Taos, taken before they put a gas meter on the end of the church that faces the highway, the exposure most photographed by everyone. I've seen a bunch of those pictures, and I've photographed the place several times myself, but Ansel's shot is unique -- haunting. It's quite possible to make something unique out of a picture of architecture. You just have to know what you're doing.
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nemo295
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2012, 03:18:07 PM »
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Beyond plagiarism, there are considerations around copyright law as well. Artists retain control over the reproduction rights of their work, which includes having their work photographed.

http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/when-its-illegal-to-photograph-artwork/
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fike
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2012, 03:21:21 PM »
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Marc, There are at least dozens, probably hundreds of pictures by various people, including some of the most successful photographers in the world (Ansel Adams, Cartier-Bresson, etc.), of the San Francisco de Asis church at Ranches de Taos, taken before they put a gas meter on the end of the church that faces the highway, the exposure most photographed by everyone. I've seen a bunch of those pictures, and I've photographed the place several times myself, but Ansel's shot is unique -- haunting. It's quite possible to make something unique out of a picture of architecture. You just have to know what you're doing.

I get it, and I understand that fine work can still be done of architecture and art installations, but to me this type of work seems more like documentary photography than fine art photography.  Documentary photography can be fabulous, though usually (like a good whiskey) only after it ages a good bit.

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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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kencameron
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2012, 10:59:14 PM »
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It's quite possible to make something unique out of a picture of architecture. You just have to know what you're doing.

That seems right. With anything three-dimensional and outside, like a building, or maybe a sculpture, there are infinite possible ways (angles, projections, times of day) of photographing it and so ample room for originality. Of course, someone else's artistic vision would still be part of the story, but maybe a good photograph could be regarded as honouring or celebrating that vision, a bad one as insulting it. Would the same thing apply to a painting or a drawing? Maybe all you could do there is document it. Including it in a photograph of something else (eg, of people looking at it) would be quite different.

Russ's example lead me to a bit of idle googling around photographs of Notre Dame. Some of the results are attached - from Brassai, Cartier Bresson and Eugene Atget. I think I am allowed to quote them, under fair use, but if not, someone will no doubt come down on me like a ton of bricks.




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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2012, 02:20:01 PM »
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I clicked on the link and read for as long as I could bear it.

It's the sort of writing that I find to be an instant turn-off because I see it as an essential aid to making much ado about not a lot. Give some everyday situation a special name and it become an artistic specialty. In the end, it might as well be shots through anything, just as long as that anything remains a constant within the nomenclature of the genre.

In fact, it detracts from the images it's meant to laud, images that, left to themselves, might be perfectly interesting in their own right.

Ah the fun of being a curator; or even of being an 'educator' to the great unwashed!

Rob C
Rob, I basicall yagree with you about the preciousness and pretentiousness of art writing and art crit.

However having actually been to a couple of Turrell's installations and having been married in the Quaker meeting house in Houston that he designed what Turrell creates with space and light are  very special experiences of a type that  I have never seen any photograph express very well. Much of it is a four dimensional experience: the width, height and length of the space combined with being in there long enough to see how the changing qualities of light transform the space. A roughshod way of expressing the experience is that it induces a meditative state.

Walter De Maria's The Lighting Field and Donald Judd's pavilions in Marfa, Texas create  the same psychological and spiritual effect but to experience those you have to go to Quemado , New Mexico and Far West Texas.
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Ellis Vener
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kencameron
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« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2012, 04:19:44 PM »
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A roughshod way of expressing the experience is that it induces a meditative state.
That's exactly right. An even more roughshod way of putting it is that you feel better, noticeably and surprisingly, for the time you spend in there. I wonder whether photographs can induce meditative states. I suspect a wish to achieve something like that may be part of the impulse towards printing very large. Not a magic bullet, of course.
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Fips
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« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2012, 01:52:56 PM »
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Here's my take on plagiarism. Took these in a Katsuo Katase exhibition last week. All but two images simply showed a bowl in all kinds of colors and moods. Since an actual bowl was also part of the exhibition I couldn't resist to recreate his art. Not really creative and inspired but I had fun doing it. And that's pretty much all that counts for me. (Having said that, I would publicly show these photographs due to copyright issues, of course)

 
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kencameron
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« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2012, 04:35:29 PM »
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(Having said that, I would publicly show these photographs due to copyright issues, of course)

I am no expert on copyright, and perhaps for that reason it surprises me to read that there would be copyright issues with showing these shots in public, particularly the first and the third. Would that mean, for example, that one would be breaching copyright by showing a photograph which included, somewhere in it, a copyrighted logo, or a photograph of an original sculpture?
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 07:07:42 PM by kencameron » Logged

WalterEG
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« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2012, 04:57:57 PM »
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I very much doubt that photographing the INSTALLATION of the exhibit would be the same as copying an artwork in the exhibit.

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Fips
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« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2012, 05:21:47 PM »
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I'm not an expert on this and the laws might be different in each country. But my understanding is that this museum is not a public place and they have the right to restrict the (commercial) publication of images in which the museum and the displayed artwork is clearly the main subject.
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WalterEG
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« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2012, 06:01:54 PM »
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That may well be the case Fips.

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