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DEBATES 2011 - Intellectual property - Artists' voice: reuse of works

The Forum d’Avignon interviewed 25 international artists to prepare the debate on intellectual property.

How do you perceive the subsequent use of your works? 


Paul ANDREU, architect

Any artist feeds on others, all the others: he or her takes (and must be free to do so) and transform (it is at least a moral obligation), he or her accepts and is proud that the works feed others. The world of ideas and art is a world of exchange and collective development. It is valued for all; we must protect it from looters.




Jean Jacques ANNAUD, film director

I understand that the freedom to loot stores of shoes or flat screens is a part of the claims, such as consuming free works that require the collaboration of a large number of employees in order to exist. The film industry requires material resources that need to be funded, in one way or another. Or disappear.




Nabil AYOUCH, film director 

There is no way to escape it, nor any reason. Everything has been invented for so long that it would be pretentious to believe that "our" works or ideas belong to us. They are part of a new context and this is what differentiates them. But their purpose is to circulate and be recycled. 





Philippe CLAUDEL, film  director

A work is a beautifully volatile material. It appears thanks to one individual, but only exists in the eyes of others. So we should not be surprised with its dissemination. It spreads and feeds. This has always been. Literature is a vast recycling company. Of course we must distinguish pure and simple plagiarism, sterile and reprehensible, from borrowing, tributes, genealogies of creations, debts, which are invigorating and stimulating. 





Jean Pierre et Luc DARDENNE, film directors

In art, every artist is both heir and discoverer. It is normal that our findings are passed down.





Wim DELVOYE, artist

It is almost flattering. My x-rays for example have a separate life on the internet, an anonymous life as successful images to be downloaded to print flyers, postcards, etc. Of course, I am not happy to see that I am not mentioned as an author of these images but I like the kind of "freedom" the internet gave us too much  to be  worried about that. I used logo's of successful companies in my work myself, so I should not be too cranky about other people using my images.




Laurence EQUILBEY, conductor, musical director of Accentus

I am often told that the creation of Accentus inspired several conductors in France, who wanted to try a similar adventure. I find it exciting. Otherwise I'm just a performer, my works are already a kind of exploitation of someone else’s!





 Jochen GERZ, artist

It does not make sense to limit what we call communication to the entity and identity of people. The same people who treat their work as private property want to pass it on to future generations. There is no private property beyond the time we live. Art is like Aspirin: it dissolves in water, and does not make much sense in itself. It is only in the other (viewer or author) that it is what it is - metamorphosis. 




JUL, cartoonist

If there is capillarity, let’s evolve with "select friends":  I am for the most generous use of my works by others in a framework and for reasons with which I share the issues, objectives, aesthetics; and the highest standards of excellence for reuse with mercantile interests and individuals and corporate profits when I am opposed to their goals. 





Radu MIHAILEANU, film director and writer

If this is done within the framework of an authorization and payment of fees, as it is done since the dawn of times, I am in favor; any artist inspires others. New modes of distribution do not have to change the spirit of respect for intellectual property. 





 Christopher MILES, film director 

Inspiration and currents of thought - and to show how it was perceived at the time.






Christine ORBAN, écrivain

I am not a philosopher, just a novelist ... But when it happens that one of my sentences is taken up I am pleased, provided of course that I’m quoted. 




 ORLAN, artist

I find interesting the reuse of my work by others if they are honest and let know that they use them to create their own works and not just for convenience - I have myself oftenquoted my own work in the new ones, pointing out the intrinsic relationship of a work with another. 




Jean-Marie PERIER, photographer

All artists are inspired by their predecessors and to inspire in turn is a privilege. All what we create is "on loan". 




PLANTU, cartoonist

We sell for free the rights for schools or universities when they use the drawings as part of their educational work. However, when it comes to publishers of textbooks as Bordas, Nathan or Hatier, we establish a standard agreement between cartoonist and publisher: we ask for copyrights. As for Cartooning for Peace, the organization that I chair: when we do a meeting or an exhibition, we grant rights for free for the media (we have the agreement of all the cartoonist of the organization) to illustrate the cover press, but when a media wants to use the same drawing out of the event, then there is paid copyright for the artists.




Marjane SATRAPI, director and author

There is a big difference between those who copy you and those you inspire. There are people who reproduce you with no qualms, I cannot really say that I carry them in my heart, if there is a rerun, inspiration or influence; it just means that the initial work has been recognized. 



Kjetil Tredal THORSEN, architect

The highest recognition one can get is to be copied by others. This however does not mean I enjoy uncritical reuse of ideas, concepts or solutions by others, but to be supportive of those developing our common goals, using our ideas to move forward. In our own processes we still try to "reinvent ourselves" every time, especially by reacting contextually to any given condition. More problematic we find the respectless rebuilding or changing of buildings we have designed, using other architects only based on cost.  




Barthélémy TOGUO, artist

It does not bother me, as long as it aims at another aesthetic. It is like in football, a defender get out a dangerous ball into the penalty area, slips it to left side, extending the ball on the sides, passes the ball to the wing back who dribbles an opponent, extends the speed race and make a high centre pass that falls directly on the head of the striker in a good position to jump higher than the opposing defense and scores a nice goal from the head in the top corner. The artist has the right to extend an action undertaken by another. 




TOTONHO, artist

I am a painter, not a prophet. If I even could predict the future... I hope my paintings sensitize children - artists, politicians and entrepreneurs of tomorrow, and give birth to a more respectful look towards the planet. 





Natacha WOLINSKI, writer

Reuse, sampling and re-appropriation do not bother me if they are made with humor and genius.