Friday, November 27, 2009

Financial Boost for Aussie Artists

First published in news & Buzz at

Australian visual artists are set to receive an increase in the revenue generated by their work with the Australian National Government's passing of the long awaited resale royalty scheme.

Under the scheme artists whose work is re-sold in the secondary market for more than $1000 will receive a 5% royalty. Ex pop star and current Federal Arts Minister, Peter Garrett, said "It is only fair that artists and their descendants should share in the growing value of the artworks - particularly as value can grow substantially over time. In particular there will be benefits for Indigenous visual artists, who have experienced significant increases in the value of their work."

The Resale royalties will be collected and distributed to artists by a single collecting organization which is expected to be in place by mid 2010. The scheme will cover original works of art, such as paintings, collages, drawings, prints, sculptures, ceramics, an item of glassware or photographs made by living artists and/or their estates for up to 70 years.

It is expected that the royalty will be collected from overseas sales as well local sales especially from 49 countries that acknowledge a resale royalty right for visual artists. These countries include England, France, Germany, The Netherlands and the US State of California.

Further information about the Australian Resale Royalty scheme including a PDF link to all the countries that acknowledge a resale royalty right can be found here.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

What a Picture - What a Photograph

First published in News & Buzz at

With the dust barely settled after FIAC the next annual art fair is girding its loins for its Paris exposition. Paris Photo 2009 will grace the Carrousel du Louvre Exhibition Hall from November 19 to 22 whilst another nine Paris galleries will be presenting exhibitions related to the photographic medium.

The Middle East is the focal point of this year’s fair with three exhibitions. The Central Exhibition will show a selection of rare images from the collections of the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut. The Statement Section will provide an overview of emerging talent from Tehran to Damascus, Beirut to Cairo and Tangiers to Dubai. And in The Project Room a program of video screenings will be on show, a display of the growing interest in this medium among the artists of the region.

A hundred and two exhibitors (89 galleries and 13 publishers) will be showcasing a wide variety of photography from the 19th Century through to the present day. Created in 1997 by the Dutch Publisher, Rik Gadella, this year’s Paris Photo fair will be featuring the work of 500 international photographers. From Germany to the United States, from Japan to Morocco, the 2009 edition of Paris Photo is geographically diverse with selected participants coming from 23 countries.

The satellite exhibitions to the main event include “Michael Kenna, a retrospective” at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, “The Subversion of Images, Surrealism, Photography, Film” at the Centre Pompidou, “ August Sander : Seeing, Observing, Thinking” at the Henri Cartier Bresson Foundation, “Delpire & Cie” at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie ans “Federico Fellini, La Grande Parade” at the Jeu de Paume.

The Middle East focus expands out from the Carrousel du Louvre with exhibitions such as “Palestine, creation in all states” at the Arab World Institute, “Djân, Body and Soul” at VU Gallery, “150 years of Iranian Photography” at the Musée du Quai Branly, and “Iran 1979-2009 : Between Hope and Chaos, 30 years of Iranian Documentary Photography” at the Monnaie de Paris.

For more information about Paris Photo 2009 go to their web site, here.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

7th Australian Film Festival in the Philippines

The Australian Embassy in Manila, Screen Australia, and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in cooperation with the Ayala Malls Cinemas, Greenbelt and Ayala Center Cebu present the 7th Australian Film Festival in the Philippines from 5-14 November.

The 6 award winning films in the festival are:

Unfinished Sky (R 13)
Director: Peter Duncan
When Tahmeena stumbles onto John’s isolated farm, he has no choice but to take her in. An illegal refugee, she's been badly beaten and speaks no English. While John's not inclined to welcome visitors, he’s even less inclined to involve the police. As they communicate through signs, pictures and a gradual understanding of each other's language, they begin to recover faith in themselves and their trust in humanity.
Selected Awards:
Toronto International Film Festival, Pusan International Film Festival, Brisbane International Film Festival- Voted #1 film (2007), Best Film - Method Film Festival (2008)

The Black Balloon (PG 13)
Director: Elissa Down
Thomas and his family move to a new home. He has to start at a new school, all he wants is to fit in. When his pregnant mother has to take things easy, his father puts him in charge of his autistic brother. With the help of his new girlfriend Jackie, Thomas faces his biggest challenge yet. A story about fitting in, discovering love, and accepting your family that is funny, confronting, and ultimately heart-warming.
Selected Awards:
Australian Film Institute 2008 AFI Award – Best Film, Best Direction, Best Editing, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Toni Collette), Best Supporting Actor (Luke Ford)
Berlin International Film Festival Crystal Bear - Best Feature Film
Film Critic’s Choice of Australia – Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress

The Bank (PG 13)
Director: Robert Connolly
The Bank is a political thriller set in the world of high finance, a modern day story of alchemy.
Selected Awards:
2002: Göteborg Film Festival, Palm Springs International
2001: San Sebastian International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, London Int. Film Festival, and Vancouver International.

Danny Deckchair (PG 13)
Director: Jeff Balsmeyer
An ordinary bloke rockets out of his loveless relationship into a new world in which he gets the chance to stand out from the crowd and fall in love.
Selected Awards:
2003 Film Critics Circle of Australian nominated for Best Supporting Actor - Female Justine Clarke
2004 Paris Film Festival nominated Grand Prix – Jeff Balsmeyer

Garage Days (R 18)
Director: Alex Proyas
GARAGE DAYS is a film about one kids dream to be a rock star. Freddy learns there is more to being a rock star than just drugs and tunes. He learns about friendship, babies and love.
Selected Awards:
2003: Sundance Film Festival (USA)

The Hard Word (R 18)
Director: Scott Roberts
Three brothers have found a uniquely profitable way to spend their jail time. Crime does pay, and no one gets hurt – until they discover the catch. When sex and greed come between bad cops and good criminals, the consequences are fatal –for some.
Selected Awards/Festivals:
2002: Filmfest Hamburg, London Australia film Festival 4 x Australian Screen sound Awards.

Screening schedules for Manila and Cebu can be found here.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Muddying the Water

First published in the News & Buzz section of

Copyright questions raised by the fair use clause in the law, where appropriated material is used for the creation of a “new” work, are complex; so much so that the courts decide them on a case by case basis. In this digital age, the ubiquity of copyright infringement has ensured that the Associated Press/Shepard Fairey dispute over the “Hope Poster” is destined to remain front page news for some time to come.

Shepard Fairey lied to the court about which Associated Press photo he used as a basis for his “Warholianesque” poster and fabricated evidence of support has done his cause more harm than good. Fairey has stated “The new filings state for the record that the AP is correct about which photo I used as a reference and that I was mistaken. While I initially believed that the photo I referenced was a different one, I discovered early on in the case that I was wrong. In an attempt to conceal my mistake I submitted false images and deleted other images. I sincerely apologize for my lapse in judgment and I take full responsibility for my actions which were mine alone. I am taking every step to correct the information and I regret I did not come forward sooner.”

The fallout from this statement has seen his legal team withdraw from the case and Associated Press add the brand launched by Fairey, Obey Clothing, as a co-defendant. Associated Press have also claimed that Fairey profited from the work which was originally available as a free down load during the 2008 US Presidential race.

With copyright laws designed to encourage creativity and innovation, rather than restrain it, how the courts decide on this case will be of intense interest to artists and others for whom remixing is an important aspect of their work. As the LA Times editorial of November 1 concludes “The dispute between Fairey and the AP offers a chance to make that line a bit clearer. We don't think the court should condone his deception -- some kind of sanction would be appropriate. Yet that should not tip the balance the court must strike between creators and those who follow them.”