Home Official News Releases Drake’s Anderson Gallery exhibition explores appropriation and sampling in art and music

Drake’s Anderson Gallery exhibition explores appropriation and sampling in art and music

News Photo
Michael Miller,
Less Than Ideal, 1999,
Iris Print
32 inches x 46.5 inches

The Anderson Gallery at Drake University’s upcoming exhibition, “Ape-Rope-Pray-8!” explores the wide range of appropriation and sampling found in contemporary art, music and design. The exhibition will also focus on the legal, ethical and moral repercussions connected with the practice of “the copy” and with cultural appropriations.

Appropriation can be most broadly described as the act of taking or “copying” already made elements to create a new work. Examples of appropriation include documenting an event by taking a photograph, adding new elements to a previous work, or completely copying an original work so that it becomes the new work. Transcultural appropriation can involve violent annexations of objects from another culture, or a more restrained assimilation of objects from another culture. “Ape-Rope-Pray-8!” will examine these and other forms of appropriation and sampling.

“Ape-Rope-Pray-8!” raises issues concerning whether copyright laws protect artists or hinder creativity; if the laws are created to protect the creator, or to protect the future profits of the company or organization that owns the original work; and who decides what is can be copied, and to what extent. It also provokes questions about transcultural appropriations.

The exhibition, which opens on January 27 with a reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., combines art, music and design by contemporary artists with more historic examples. Exhibited artists include Romare Bearden, Kara Walker, Enrique Chagoya, Francisco Goya, Robert Arneson and David Dunlap. The exhibition is curated by Lenore Metrick-Chen, professor of art history at Drake University.

During the opening reception, an “Occupation” will occur in the gallery from precisely 5:27 p.m. to 6:03 p.m., followed by a piano performance by Professor Nicholas Roth at 6:15 p.m. in the Patty and Fred Turner Jazz Center at Drake.

Music recital, law panel discussion and guest lecture

A music recital and panel discussion will also occur in conjunction with the “Ape-Rope-Pray-8!” exhibition.

The recital will expand upon appropriation and sampling in music, and will feature appropriated pieces by composers Jacob Ter Veldhuis, Mischa Zupko and Judith Shatin. The selections will be performed by Professors James Romain and Nicholas Roth as well as Drake music students. The recital will take place on Jan. 29 at 2 p.m. in the Patty and Fred Turner Jazz Center.

Peter K. Yu, Kern Family Chair in Intellectual Property Law and director of the Intellectual Property Law Center at Drake Law School, will moderate the panel discussion on Monday, Jan. 30. The discussion, titled “Appropriation Art + Copyright Challenges,” will focus on the copyright laws associated with sampling and appropriation in art, music and film. Panel members will explore notions of originality and creativity, the boundaries of copyright law as well as creative and legal challenges confronting artists. Panel members include Doris E. Long, professor of law and chair of the Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Privacy Group at the John Marshall Law School, Chicago; Michael Kowalski, New York-based composer; Professor Megan M. Carpenter, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law; and David J. Bright, Esq., Nyemaster, Goode, West, Hansell & O’Brien, P.C. and president of Iowa Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. The discussion will begin at 5 p.m. in the Patty and Fred Turner Jazz Center.

Additionally, Michael Kowalski, a panel member of the above listed event, will join us on Tuesday, Jan. 31 for a public lecture titled “Musical Mushrooms “” Beware of What You Sample: Eight Case Studies of Musical Appropriation.” The lecture will begin at 6 p.m. in the Cowles Library Reading Room, 2725 University Ave.

The exhibition and all related events are free and open to the public. Regular Anderson Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. and by appointment. “Ape-Rope-Pray-8!” closes Sunday, Feb. 26.

For more information, contact Heather Skeens, gallery director at 515.271.1994 or heather.skeens@drake.edu.