Fearless Girl

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NorthReport
Fearless Girl
NorthReport

Wall Street bull's sculptor says Fearless Girl violates his artistic rights

However, the sculptor behind the bull is hearing a vastly different message. Where others see an inspiring note for women and girls, Arturo Di Modica sees “an advertising trick” that is violating his legal rights.

http://www.metronews.ca/news/world/2017/04/12/charging-bull-fearless-gir...

voice of the damned

In fairness to the original sculptor, adding the girl changes the meaning of his piece, which was meant to symbolize a bull market(a good thing by the standards of the people who commissioned it). Now, it arguably symbolizes sexism in the financial sector, which the girl is supposed to be challenging.

When some First Nations people criticized the art in an Edmonton LRT station for reflecting a colonial bias, the City commissioned a First Nations artist to make "counterpoint" pieces to hang on both sides of the original. But the new pieces. while functioning as a neccessary corrective to the original, don't radically alter the meaning in the same way that the girl alters the meaning of the bull.

Not saying which approach is better, just that the project in Edmonton shows an alternative way of doing things. 

http://tinyurl.com/l68kcko

Rev Pesky

It raises an interesting point. The Fearless Girl statue without the Wall St. bull wouldn't attract any attention at all. It is the conjunction of the two statues that creates the buzz. The question is, does one artist have a right to include another artist's work as an essential part of their own?

I would argue that if you need another artist's work to make your own complete, then you need to reach an agreement with the other artist about the use of their work.

6079_Smith_W

Public art is just that.

I kind of get the point, but presumably Di Modica does have the option of removing his piece. And if not, he should just relax and realize that everyone gets the history.

Besides, the addition is accurate. He wanted to illustrate the resiliance of the stock market? Fine. But it is still a boy's club.

Actually, I think it is worth noting that lots of lefties are pooh poohing the new sculpture because it was itself a marketing stunt, and because the stock market is the heart of capitalism. They might want to take a chill pill too, unless they think their revolution should be won on the backs of women unfairly shut out of systems of power.

 

voice of the damned

Rev Pesky wrote:

It raises an interesting point. The Fearless Girl statue without the Wall St. bull wouldn't attract any attention at all. It is the conjunction of the two statues that creates the buzz. The question is, does one artist have a right to include another artist's work as an essential part of their own?

I would argue that if you need another artist's work to make your own complete, then you need to reach an agreement with the other artist about the use of their work.

FWIW, in regards to the LRT pieces I posted about, the original artist was consulted, and enthusiastically supported the new additions.

In NYC, we could wonder how the fearless-girl artist would feel if a third piece were added(eg. the girls' parents rushing in to swoop her away from the bull, to symbolize the need for greater regulation of the stock market). I'm guessing she might not be crazy about it, but I really don't know.

I guess another thing to consider is that the people of New York arguably have some moral ownership over what appears on their streets, and it seems that they have generally fallen in love with Fearless Girl.

voice of the damned

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 

 

Besides, the addition is accurate. He wanted to illustrate the resiliance of the stock market? Fine. But it is still a boy's club.

 

 

Well, except their is a difference between symbolizing a rising stock market, and symbolizing a male-dominated stock market. The market is likely male-dominated even when it's a Bear.

And I'm actually not sure about the right of the artist to remove the piece. If he sold it to whoever put it up, wouldn't he have forfeited that right?

6079_Smith_W

I know, but both realities are true. It doesn't undercut his message about resiliance. But I think we can all agree that system is in need of criticism, if not revolution.

And I'll go back to the more important point that public space is just that. Ditto for public art.

What about Lemay and Gaboury's Louis Riel? I respect artistic integrity, but was it justified to try and prevent its removal when it was decided that a more realistic and stately rendering was more appropriate?

http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history/42/rielstatue.shtml

Artists don't control the space. In fact, there is a point at which they don't control their art any more, and actually that is a good thing.

voice of the damned

What about Lemay and Gaboury's Louis Riel? I respect artistic integrity, but was it justified to try and prevent its removal when it was decided that a more realistic and stately rendering was more appropriate?

That one swung from one ridiculous polarity to another. The original piece was quite interesting, but maybe not exactly what you want people to have as a first impression when you're trying to educate them about a public figure. The replacement piece however, made Riel look like a lawyer making a particularly passionate point about the tax code.

(And yes, I know Riel WAS a lawyer, but I don't think that's really the received image people have of him.)

Personally, I thought it was okay to remove the original and place it in a less, shall we say, touristy location. But given a choice between keeping it and going with the unmagical-realism of No. 2, I'd go for keeping it.

NorthReport

Fearless Girl brings women visibility in a city full of statues of men

 Despite controversy over its placement people are flocking to the latest, most famous statue in New York City that shows ‘women have balls, too’

Almost all the public statues of people in New York City depict men. There is a huge green exception in New York harbor. But Lady Liberty wasn’t real, not like the men who inspired the 23 statues planted in Central Park alone. (There are no statues of real women in Central Park, though there is one of Alice in Wonderland.)

The latest, most famous statue in New York City does not depict a historical figure, either, or a woman, but she is a she. Fearless Girl, facing off with Charging Bull near Wall Street at the foot of Broadway, has given the city its biggest public art controversy since Christo and Jeanne-Claude draped Central Park with orange “gates” in 2005.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/14/fearless-girl-statue-wom...

6079_Smith_W

But it does get to the core issue of how much control an artist should have (and I think there are spaces in which they should have a great deal of control).

But in this case, although I recognize all the points being made, I think the best course it for the original artist to relax and recognize that this is not appropriation or attack so much as an atristic conversation. He should be excited about that, rather than falling back on ego. I don't think anyone who is really paying attention sees it as undermining his work.

(edit)

And I know him removing his piece would kind of ruin the context. I am only saying that if he wanted to take his ball and go home he would probably have that option.

 

NorthReport

I hope Fearless Girl becomes a permanent NYC piece of art

Why People Are So Upset About Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl'

The sculpture is currently set to remain on display until 2018, but critics are calling for its immediate removal.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/04/fearless-girl-react...

NorthReport

 

Good!

Mayor Will Defend 'Fearless Girl' Statue Against 'Charging Bull' Sculptor

https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20170414/battery-park-city/charging-bul...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

If this occurred in Canada, it would likely fall into the category of moral rights.  The U.S. supports similar, but in typical U.S. style it's a bit of a hodgepodge by jurisdiction, so it's not clear to me to what degree they would apply in NYC.

As I understand it, moral rights are intended to preserve the artistic rights of an artist over work that he or she no longer owns in a material sense (e.g. a sculpture that has been sold to someone else).  If you no longer own a work materially then you cannot simply "remove it".

We can agree with moral rights or disagree with them, but I don't think that can reasonably be based on whether we "like" the modifications to a work, or think they're "awesome" or "popular" or even "much needed".

NorthReport

Fearless Girl is needed now more than ever.

Trump signs measure targeting Planned Parenthood funding

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39601568

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
And I'm actually not sure about the right of the artist to remove the piece. If he sold it to whoever put it up, wouldn't he have forfeited that right?

Evidently, the artist owns the piece materially as well.

An interesting thought experiment would be to ponder whether the City, if they wished, should be permitted to display Fearless Girl laying down on her back.  Same sculpture, very different artistic intent (and very clearly not what the artist had in mind).

Anyway, it's really a matter for copyright law, but I suppose it's inevitable that it's going to become a legendary battle between Symbol of Capitalism vs. Symbol of Feminism.

Quote:
“The girl has changed the meaning of the bull forever,” said David Levi Strauss from the Manhattan School of Visual Arts. “With public art like this, it’s a Rorschach test onto which people are projecting their own opinions and feelings.”

6079_Smith_W

No need to speculate. There have already been youtube postings of guys humping fearless girl. And they have gotten predictable reactions. Again. Public art.

http://jezebel.com/dead-eyed-bro-humps-wall-streets-fearless-girl-statue...

 

6079_Smith_W

Didn't we do this already with the naked trump sculpture back in the summer?

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

While their military bombs the world New Yorker's argue about a symbol of Wall Street being demoted to a duo instead of being a lead act. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

This statue of Johnny (Gianni) Lombardi is just around the corner from me.  I walked past it less than a half hour ago on my way to buy a red pepper.

As public art, there's no question that humans will interact with it in various ways, some of them inappropriate, and in ways that may even be offensive to the artist.

But surely you would agree that there's a world of difference between this woman doing this for a silly pic, and the City of Toronto permitting the installation of a bronze statue of a young woman in the same pose?  Because that's what's being discussed here:  NYC permitting the installation of a sculpture that totally changes the meaning of another sculpture, not humans riding the bull or humping the girl or whatever.

NorthReport

Yes, but support for feminism has a higher priority in society. 

voice of the damned

@ Post 20...

A google on "molesting statues" would seem to indicate that sculptors may wish to give more thought to how they position hands and fingers in their public art.

That is, assuming they actually WANT to deter the activity in question.  

 

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..art is and has always been political. it has also been subject to interpretation and not rigidly defined. if it causes folks to think all the better. those 2 pieces should be able to co-exist in that public space that is surrounded by the political. imho.

6079_Smith_W

Magoo, I don't think there is that big of a difference, in that both should be allowed.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The idea that public art should be a static thing is rather a limited view of art.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Yes, but support for feminism has a higher priority in society.

A higher priority than what, specifically?

And where does advertisement for a mutual fund fit into the equation?  You do know, right, that Fearless Girl was explicitly commissioned by an investment company to promote one of their funds?  I'm not saying it's not also art, but if McDonald's commissioned a handsome bronze of a defiant Ronald, and tried to also put beside Fearless Girl with the City's blessing, I wonder if anyone might object?  They surely couldn't on the grounds that the City shouldn't give prime space to corporate advertisements for free.

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Magoo, I don't think there is that big of a difference, in that both should be allowed.

Very well.  Personally, I'm not so ready to strike down the idea of moral copyright for artists.  And particularly not over this one case. 

6079_Smith_W

Moral copyright?

You mean " I don't like what they are doing " as opposed to actual copyright?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I posted a link to an explanation of it in #14.

Basically, it means that if someone commissions you to carve a statue of Tommy Douglas, they cannot display it in their yard with a clown hat on its head, holding a sex toy.  Even if they own it materially.

ed'd to add:  no, it doesn't preclude the public from mocking (or misunderstanding, ignoring, disliking or even interacting with) an artistic work.  It only refers to permanent or ongoing alterations to the intended meaning of that art. 

I get that viewers can and will and do interact with public art in all sorts of ways, but this isn't intended to prevent that. 

6079_Smith_W

Yeah, and this is another sculpture across the square. Not a sex toy. We'll see how the case goes.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Yeah, and this is another sculpture across the square. Not a sex toy.

Yes, it's not a sex toy.  But would you  understand what moral copyright means if it WAS a sex toy?  I'm OK with baby steps here.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..your trying to define boundries using speculation. speculation is not a useful tool in this instance. can you not find something real?

6079_Smith_W

I got your point Magoo. I don't think the artist's concerns outweigh what seems to be the consensus on this,  and I hope he doesn't win his case. Fortunately I think he might have a hard time making his case, since, despite the image, the new piece isn't in the same immediate space.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
..your trying to define boundries using speculation. speculation is not a useful tool in this instance. can you not find something real?

The law is real, epaulo13.  My hypotheticals are only to help people understand it when they can't seem to otherwise.

Quote:
I don't think the artist's concerns outweigh what seems to be the consensus on this

What "consensus"?

That Fearless Girl is awesome?  Can you tell me how public opinion overrides the law (excepting when it results in the repeal of a law)?

6079_Smith_W

The city has granted a permit for it to stay. That consensus.

What law? So far all his talk of copyright and legal rights is just smoke. There is no law being overridden.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The city has granted a permit for it to stay. That consensus.

Ok.  But I think the bar for consensus just got lowered to a dozen or so politicians, or perhaps thousands (or maybe even MILLIONS) of people saying "but I LIKE this".

  Lemme bookmark this for when "the consensus" wants to ban panhandling, or whatever.

Quote:
What law?

I thought I mentioned it.  Moral rights.  I'll (re)acknowledge that I don't quite know to what degree they exactly apply in the jurisdiction of NYC, but to whatever degree they do, it would be those laws.

And honestly, I would never demand that you agree with me about those laws, but it would comfort me somewhat to be able to believe that you at least understand moral rights if you're going to dismiss them.  Do you at understand that they're not about "some artist doesn't like what they are doing"?  Is that your understanding?

6079_Smith_W

I already said Magoo, I don't buy his argument. And no, it isn't law just because he claims it is, and unless that is established there is nothing overridden.

He was contracted to make a piece. He was paid for it. Unless he had something in writing just how much control he has over the piece or the space is a matter for the city or for a judge, if he chooses to take it that far.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I already said Magoo, I don't buy his argument. And no, it isn't law just because he claims it is, and unless that is established there is nothing overridden.

Of course it's not the law because he says it is.  To whatever degree it's the law, it's the law because New York chose to adopt the Artists Authorship Rights Act.

I'm not a lawyer, and I can't say for certain what rights this does or does not confer on this sculptor.  But exactly what those rights may or may be is what we should be discussing, not whether Fearless Girl is awesome, or empowers women, or is more important than some symbol of Capitalism.

Quote:
He was contracted to make a piece. He was paid for it.

Quote:
Di Modica spent some $360,000 to create, cast, and install the sculpture following the 1987 stock market crash as a symbol of the "strength and power of the American people". The sculpture was Di Modica's idea, and in an act of guerrilla art, Bedi Makky Art Foundry and Di Modica trucked it to Lower Manhattan. On December 15, 1989, they installed it beneath a 60-foot (18 m) Christmas tree in the middle of Broad Street in front of the New York Stock Exchange as a Christmas gift to New Yorkers

...

The sculpture technically has a temporary permit allowing it to stand on city property since the city does not own the sculpture, but the temporary permission has lasted since 1989, when city officials said the new location would not be permanent.

OMG.  Have you been mansplaining all this time in the false belief that the City paid for it and owns it???

Edumacate us more!!   Keep talking!  Don't stop now!

Rev Pesky

From 6079_Smith_W:

He was contracted to make a piece. He was paid for it. Unless he had something in writing just how much control he has over the piece or the space is a matter for the city or for a judge, if he chooses to take it that far.

If it is acceptable to juxtapose one piece of art with another, would it be acceptable for a third artist to add something to the existing scene? Say how about a figure placed between 'Fearless Girl' and the Wall Street Bull.

6079_Smith_W

Mansplaining? And what does that make the counter arrgument, bullshit?

All that means is that he is free to remove his piece if he wants. Because presumably he doesn't have a specific agreement beyond the permit. And the city has given the other piece a permit, and it prepared to defend it against any challenge he might make.

And Rev, again that would be up to the city, right?

 

6079_Smith_W

Anyway, here it is lawyersplained. Indeed, one of several arguments is that it has been moved once already, and can be moved again if it is that much of an issue for him.

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/04/wall-streets-c...

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

EGH... I think the art projects false hope as I'm quite certain the bull would stomp the living shit out of the little girl (in real life) no matter what her demeanor was. The Bull don't give a fuck.

Rev Pesky

From 6079_Smith_W:

And Rev, again that would be up to the city, right?

I am asking you for your opinion.

6079_Smith_W

Dunno. Clearly the bull sculptor has an opinion, and it is not the final one.

What matters here is that the girl sculpture has drawn a lot of response, pro and anti, and that the city has decided to let it stay.

What I am thinking is that di Modica could have laughed it off and realized there is a valid message there that doesn't entirely change the intent of the original. Instead, we have a situation where (contrary to stomping and goring) the bull is actually threatened by the girl. It will be an even more interesting piece of theatre if she scares him into running away.

As for where this art theatre might go. Oh, I don't know... A Voice For Men putting up a crying boy to show that men suffer too, or some jackasses making a permanent installation of the drunken broker (recycle some of last summer's naked Trumps, maybe). Let's get some popcorn and see if that actually happens, and if the city lets it stay.

Again, whatever might or might not happen in those cases, the result of this new piece is that the city has given it their blessings. Why? Because clearly it isn't just a gag, or vandalism. It has gotten a response (again, pro and anti) that indicates it is a valid work.

NorthReport

Best article yet on Fearless Girl.

Who’s Afraid of a Little Girl?

I shared an article recently on Facebook about how the artist who made the Wall Street Bull sculpture is upset about the sculpture of the little girl that has been placed in front of the bull. He claims it “fundamentally corrupts the integrity” of his art. “Fearless Girl” was added this year on International Women’s Day. To this woman and aspiring fearless girl, the image of a young girl, standing resolutely in the face of giant power, is inspiring and powerful.

I hope the irony is not lost on anyone that a man who placed his sculpture in the middle of the night, and without authorization or permission, is upset that other people have opinions about how things should be? And that the image of a big strong bull could somehow be threatened, let alone “fundamentally corrupted” by the presence of a girl?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/whos-afraid-of-a-little-girl_us_58f2...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Kim Elliot posted this on her FB page. I found it enlightening and I too both like Fearless Girl and dislike it at the same time. My personal take on the Wall Street bull is it is very biblical even if it is a cheap bronze knock-off of the Golden Calf. The worship of money before all else on Wall Street is epitomised by it.

I love the Fearless Girl and I resent her. She’s an example of how commercialization can take something important and meaningful — something about which everybody should agree — and shit all over it by turning it into a commodity. Fearless Girl is beautiful, but she is selling SHE; that’s why she’s there.

Should Fearless Girl be removed as Di Modica wants? I don’t know. It would be sad if she was. Should Di Modica simply take his Charging Bull and go home? I mean, it’s his statue. He can do what he wants with it. I couldn’t blame him if he did that, since the Fearless Girlhas basically hijacked the meaning of his work. But that would be a shame. I’m not a fan of capitalism, but that’s a damned fine work of art.

https://gregfallis.com/2017/04/14/seriously-the-guy-has-a-point/

voice of the damned

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

EGH... I think the art projects false hope as I'm quite certain the bull would stomp the living shit out of the little girl (in real life) no matter what her demeanor was. The Bull don't give a fuck.

Well, sure. And in real life, a Tasmanian Devil would tear the shit out of a rabbit in two seconds flat. But it made for better cartoons when the fight went the other way. 

6079_Smith_W

@ kropotkin

Yes, I have a couple of friends on FB who think Fearless Girl is just a capitalist publicity stunt (which to some degree is true, as you say) and unfortunatley don't see the valid criticism which is there (which you also say).

Another thing on that fallis article - that these sympols are very mythological. The first thing it made me think of was not her getting trampled by the bull, but the old Greek tradition of leaping and riding them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull-leaping

Because yes, it is art, not reality. If it was I am sure the bull would make short work of all those pasty stockbrokers first.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
And that the image of a big strong bull could somehow be threatened, let alone “fundamentally corrupted” by the presence of a girl?

I think his point is not that the girl "threatens" the bull, but that the bull is made into a danger or a bad guy.

Think of the awesome sculpture of Jack Layton riding a bicycle on display at the waterfront in Toronto.  Would adding a bronze figure on the ground, under the front wheel, change the meaning of that sculpture?  Without materially altering the original sculpture at all, suddenly Jack wouldn't just be riding a bike, he'd be hitting someone with it.   

Quote:
Fearless Girl also changes the meaning of Charging Bull. Instead of being a symbol of “the strength and power of the American people” as Di Modica intended, it’s now seen as an aggressive threat to women and girls — a symbol of patriarchal oppression.

In effect, Fearless Girl has appropriated the strength and power of Charging Bull. Of course Di Modica is outraged by that. A global investment firm has used a global advertising firm to create a faux work of guerrilla art to subvert and change the meaning of his actual work of guerrilla art. That would piss off any artist.

 

6079_Smith_W

So Wall Street is a guerilla movement, and feminists have culturally appropriated their power. Have I got that right?

I know in the old days they used to blame witches for stealing their erections when they couldn't get it up, but this is a new one.

In any case, keep the backflips coming. It is kind of funny how much the engine of global capitalism is being cast as the poor grassroots victim here.

voice of the damned

6079_Smith_W wrote:

So Wall Street is a guerilla movement, and feminists have culturally appropriated their power. Have I got that right?

I know in the old days they used to blame witches for stealing their erections when they couldn't get it up, but this is a new one.

In any case, keep the backflips coming. It is kind of funny how much the engine of global capitalism is being cast as the poor grassroots victim here.

I think that by Magoo's reasoning, it would be the artist, not Wall Street, who would be the victim here. He created the bull to symbolize one thing, and now it symbolizes another. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

He created the bull to symbolize one thing, and now it symbolizes another.

..it's the politics that did that..not fearless girl.

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