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The Photographer as an Artist? Master of What?

However, Article 2(2) of the Berne Convention (1979 version) says:

"2 (2) It shall, however, be a matter for legislation in the countries of the Union to prescribe that works in general or any specified categories of works shall not be protected unless they have been fixed in some material form."​

I gather, from your comments that, while the U.S apparently has exercised its prerogative under Article 2(2) of the Convention, most European signatories have not - is that your understanding?Doug
Not exactly. There is ulimately "some" form of tanglible proof necessary. It is hard to proof that one thought of a concept before someone else did, so there should be something more substantial to support such a claim.

Think of e.g. someone giving a very good speech. It would be hard to prove he/she was the first, unless a sufficient number of wittnesses can be summoned, or(!) an audio recording has been made (much easier, but a timestamp will help).

BTW if a ghostwriter was used to prepare the speech, the copyright is still with the person who commissioned the task. The same as when one asks someone else to make a print. The copyright remains with the intellectual property holder, which automatically also means that a lab cannot be held responsible for making the copy, even if the copyright belongs to someone completely different than the parties involved. Similar to an opera singer performing a copyrighted opera, the copyright remains with the writer of the opera, although the performer in turn can copyright his/her interpretation and performance (act) based on such a piece (not the music score and words, but the performance itself).

Depending on local law (and because IANAL ;-)), according to my information it is not necessary (unlike in the US) to register such a speech/object/whatever before having to go to court and expect to receive full compensation. The judge will judge based on the proof as presented to him/her, and if one can present good enough proof, well, then that is apparently good enough and the same kind of damages can be claimed as anyone else would have given similar offences.

Cheers,
Bart
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Bart and Doug,

I wonder to what extent photographer's are even "masters" of their own work!

I don't understand "Tangible Proof", in practice, for the photographer when a guy like Richard Prince can freely re-photograph and blow up other photographer's works and sell them as his own art without attribution or payment! Is it that the laws are unenforceable or photographers have little stomach for defending their own work?

Asher

BTW, We discussed examples here.
 
Bart and Doug,

I wonder to what extent photographer's are even "masters" of their own work!

I don't understand "Tangible Proof", in practice, for the photographer when a guy like Richard Prince can freely re-photograph and blow up other photographer's works and sell them as his own art without attribution or payment! Is it that the laws are unenforceable or photographers have little stomach for defending their own work?
Probably the latter, but I don't know the local jurisprudence (if any) pertaining to that situation. Has anyone (e.g. Philip Morris & Co. (now Altria)) tried and failed in court? It does set a bad example in letting people believe they can just do that. Unless there were special circumstances, I don't think it is allowed in most respected jurisdictions. Even artwork on public display in a shopwindow is protected against making photo's of it, unless it's a part of a larger scene or there is a situation of permanent display viewable from public space.

Cheers,
Bart
 

Umesh Bhatt

New member
I recently watched the entire series of "Work of Art" a new TV series from Bravo TV (http://www.bravotv.com/work-of-art). It was very interesting and worth watching if you haven't done it.

It strangely felt dissatisfying about how a traditional artist views a photographer artist....In a way, it emphasized the fact that a Photographer does always remain a photographer, while an artist is not bound by the medium on achieving their vision.

Keep this thread going! It is very insightful in terms of how photographers view other photographer artists! a perspective shared only amongst photographers no doubt.

my 2 cents
 
That an art work needs to be in material form reminds me of a joke that lurks in art-colleges particularly around the time of lectures on "conceptual art".

Professor to class, "You were warned yesterday that today is the last day of the course and you have to bring your masterpiece in. I'm glad everyone has done so".

Noticing one student with absolutely nothing the prof says, "Except for you there. You automatically fail"!

"Not so" says the student, "I was in the bath this morning when I had the most brilliant, insightful, spectacular revelation that will swerve the course of Western Art for the next 500 years".

"Oh, tell us please" replies the professor.

The student explains "Unfortunately the 'phone rang and then my poached egg boiled over on the stove and in all of the excitement I found my wonderful idea had completely escaped my mind".

"So you fail after all" declares the professor.

"No, no" says the student, "I shall have several major exhibitions in prestigious art galleries. And I will be making sales to innumerable wealthy collectors".

"Impossible" roars the professor.

"Easy and simple" explains the student, "I bottled the bath water"!


Sometimes the art-object does not incorporate creative thought. It merely certifies that a great thought has been thunk sometime someplace.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I recently watched the entire series of "Work of Art" a new TV series from Bravo TV (http://www.bravotv.com/work-of-art). It was very interesting and worth watching if you haven't done it.
Thanks for the tip. Hopefully they have a DVD and a book.

It strangely felt dissatisfying about how a traditional artist views a photographer artist....In a way, it emphasized the fact that a Photographer does always remain a photographer, while an artist is not bound by the medium on achieving their vision.
In the above posts, we're always discussing that so tiny sliver of photography where the free imagination, drawing on libraries of culture and experience, commands the mind to control the picture, not the needs of science, police work, family snaps, lithography and so forth. Add to this considerable craft in knowing how to approach an eagle, work with a child, get a violinist to dance with her lips and eyes, hunt buildings, discover dragons in paintwork, mermaids in rocks and beautiful patterns in spiders and snowflakes. This is the craft of seeing. The artist needs some of that but more so the art of imagining and the craft of painting forms that can be recognized and agreeable. I would wager that by any standard, the accomplished photographer is every bit an artist as the painter artist.

To make beauty of a withdrawn shy baker woman with moles on her face and scars on her arms is easier with paints. You simply cheat. The photographer has to bargain with light, position and inspiration and lack of confidence by the shy women. The painter can create any expression. It's just technique.

So both photography as art and the artist with paint are limited approaching the subject from different perspectives. Still, when the photographer succeeds, it's also a great personal achievement, a cooperation of the subject with the photographer, some real "truth" that the painter doesn't necessary need to match to get the beauty of the person written into the photograph. The photographer writes the musical work and then he/she or someone else performs it on a screen or hopefully on a printer.

Asher
 

Jean Henderson

New member
Hi All,

New to this thread, but it seems like a great place for Alain Briott to say a few words as a painter/photographer. As for my 2 cents, I vote for the combination of vision with craftsperson -- only because it is my personal preference. Ansel would have thought otherwise once he had learned the current technology, I think.

Jean
 

timestampcamera

New member
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I give a boost for a worthy vintage thread. The post prior to this is a spammer, who will be gone after my cofffee!

Asher
 
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