Agency: Scripted by Characters

November 23rd 2013 – January 19th 2014

Exhibition opening November 23rd Saturday 2pm.

For the exhibition Scripted by Characters, Brussels based collective named Agency calls forth a series of ‘things’ from its ongoing ‘list of things’ from the cases on intellectual property. In Assembly (Scripted by Characters), Agency is speculating on the question: “How can ideas become included within art practices?“. For this occasion at CAC, Agency will focus on controversies about characters.

November 23rd 2013 (Saturday) 2 pm – exhibition opening and meeting with an artist Kobe Matthys.

December 14th 2013 and January 18th 2014 – public gatherings during which selected cases from an exhibition will be discussed with concerned guests. Please follow information on

Characters as for example James Bond, Ninja Turtles, Mickey Mouse, Rocky, Sherlock Holmes, Sam Spade, Superman, Tarzan, Cave Woman, Wonder Woman, etc. live a life through various appearances in different media. In order to qualify for copyright protection, a work must be “an original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression”. As characters keep evolving and changing, their status resembles more of an 'idea'. Since copyright protection does not extend to ‘ideas’, and a character will only attract protection as an 'expression'. The more the characters are defined in expressions, the more they can be protected. However, the distinction between ideas and expressions over characters is often difficult to make. 

A selection of things will convene an assembly at CAC in order to bear witness. For example Thing 000994 (The Adventures of Sam Spade, The Kandy Tooth) concerns a conflict between film studio Warner Bros and American commercial broadcast network CBS about the radio show The Kandy Tooth (1946-1948). In The Kandy Tooth, a private detective Sam Spade is reunited with the characters from The Maltese Falcon (1941) film on a hunt for a missing tooth. During the court case Warner Bros v. CBS judge Stephens had to decide whether the Sam Spade character constituted the story being told or only a vehicle for the story. 

Questions set by Agency explore the operative consequences of the apparatus of intellectual property for ecology of art practices. 

Exhibition curator: Monika Lipchitz

Supported by: Flemish Authorities and Lithuanian Ministry of Culture

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