Re: Cropping Art -- where is the outrage?

From: Ed Halter (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Sep 22 2006 - 12:55:06 PDT

I'm not as outraged at the works being cropped in docs like Ric Burns's or
that tepid WHO WANTS TO CALL IT ART from a few months ago -- after all,
there are many cases in art documentaries in which a painting is not shown
in full, in order to accentuate a certain detail etc., and there's the
aspect in which these films are being shown both for their status as art and
for their content -- as records of the time as much as products of the

However, I am more annoyed the practice of not noting on-screen or in
voiceover that the footage is in fact a work by the artist (or in some cases
another artist like Jonas Mekas or Marie Mencken) until the final credits,
if at all. In these cases, viewers don't even know they are seeing a clip
from an artist's work instead of say, a home movie from the period, or 16mm
news footage. All these different sources tend to be equalized by the
documentary editing process, and I find this to be more insulting and
misleading than the cropping itself. They should be given equal weight to
any other artwork shown in a documentary that is ostensibly about art -- if
paintings and sculptures are noted as such, so should an artist's films.

Ed H.

> From: Jeff Kreines <email suppressed>
> Reply-To: Experimental Film Discussion List <email suppressed>
> Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 14:35:14 -0500
> To: <email suppressed>
> Subject: Re: Cropping Art -- where is the outrage?
> On Sep 22, 2006, at 1:27 PM, Adam Trowbridge wrote:
>> 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?
> Cute, Adam.
> But there's a difference. The art history books are under economic
> constraints, and often are using a small B&W photo of art as mere
> identification.
> In the case of this television show, there is no economic reason not
> to show the work in its original aspect ratio. There's only the
> arrogance and stupidity of the producer of the teevee show to blame
> here.
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.