Document Type

Article

Comments

Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition Prize Paper (J. Balkin, A. Kapczynski, J. Rubenfeld) (best paper(s) in the field of copyright)

Abstract

A real estate developer hired a sculptor, David Phillips, to create and install a group of sculptures with an aquatic theme in a public park facing Boston Harbor. Known for his reverence for natural beauty, Phillips created “fifteen abstract bronze and granite pieces and twelve realistic bronze sculptures of various aquatic creatures, including frogs, crabs, and shrimp.” The park—its paths and landscaping—was designed to incorporate the sculptures, with the largest one, an abstract spherical work carved out of granite, at the center of the park. Phillips conceived of the dozens of sculptures as an “integrated work of visual art” which, if rearranged or relocated, would lose much of its artistic meaning. The sculptures were integrated in their relationships to each other as well as within the entire park, and the finished product—the park itself—was, the artist claimed, a site-specific work of art. That is, the work’s placement in its location was as much a part of the work as the stone and metal the sculptures were made from. Site-specific works, unlike “plop art” (portable works that may be situated anywhere), thus cannot be moved without being artistically altered.

Date of Authorship for this Version

2011

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