Richard Prince: Canal Zone. With story by James Frey. Designed by Graphic Thought Process. Gagosian Gallery, New York, 2008. 91pp. Large oblong quarto (13.25 x 11 in./33.5 x 28 cm.) Hardbound. Cloth spine. Photo-illustrated boards. No jacket as issued. Color reproductions.
A controversial publication that will stand as a demonstration case illustrating the thorniness of the concepts of fair use and artistic 'appropriation'. Prince initially lost the case, but then won his appeal. Since it was initially withdrawn from circulation, copies can still be hard to come by.
"French photographer Patrick Cariou [sued Prince] over a series of...collage paintings that were displayed recently at the Gagosian Gallery in New York. Cariou claims Prince's "Canal Zone" series, which features Rastifarian Men collaged and painted over, illegally borrows photographs from his book Yes Rasta. Cariou is asking for the unsold works to be impounded and destroyed. This includes the catalogue for the exhibition, Canal Zone (co-published by Rizzoli)...What makes the catalogue unique is the text provided by novelist James Frey, titled "Ding Dong The Witch is Dead." Frey takes Prince's storyboard of Canal Zone and gives it the treatment, concocting the (short) story of an uber-wealthy family who, upon arriving at St. Bart's for vacation, find out that there has been a nuclear holocaust. "--Interview Magazine
"The appeals court, which heard the case last May , ruled that Judge Batts’s interpretation was incorrect and that 'the law does not require that a secondary use comment on the original artist or work, or popular culture,' but only that a reasonable observer find the work to be transformative."--NY Times
As new in shrink wrap (visible in illustration), with blemish to one corner.