Re: Cropping Art -- where is the outrage?

From: James Kreul (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Sep 22 2006 - 12:20:10 PDT

On 9/22/06 2:27 PM, "Adam Trowbridge" <email suppressed> wrote:

>> I wonder if any museums would choose to lend out paintings to an
>> institution that insisted on hanging the paintings behind fixed cut-
>> outs in a wall, cropping the image? Could one imagine such a museum
>> existing? Of course not. But this is essentially what happened in
>> Mr. Burns' TV program.
> I've heard that there are art history books that have produced COLOR
> paintings in BLACK AND WHITE. It's just shocking, where will the madness
> end?

I don't disagree with Jeff's objections, but at the same time I wasn't
outraged because of something Adam hints at in his response. Very little of
the non-film work would fit properly into either a 4:3 or 16:9 frame, so
from the get-go there will be a degree of intervention and distortion in
conveying the work in a conventional broadcast documentary form.

The one clip that jumped out at me in terms of this issue was the brief clip
from Sleep. The frame seemed very poorly composed and yes you could say
that it does not reflect Warhol's original intent. But it was also 20
seconds or so long (probably less). Intent pretty much goes out the window
at that point (I can't remember if the voice-over even mentioned how long
the film was in its entirety). So even if it were pillow-boxed you would
still have the issue of conveying at least a sense of the artists intent in
a transformed or translated manner.

The films are touched on in Part One but it looks like they will really need
to focus on them for the first hour of Part I'll save my outrage
until next week. I share the objections over the standard Burns-ian
documentary mode, but I do have to say that there were two sequences that I
liked quite a bit. One was the sequence on the Ethel Scull portrait, and
the other was on the Jackie series. But even the Scull sequence make me
want to take another look at De Antonio's Painter's Painting again (in fact,
I think the Scull interview might have been taken from Painter's Painting,
but I'm not sure).

James Kreul
University of North Carolina Wilmington
email suppressed

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