The lecture will be dedicated to two issues of the complicated relationship of copyright and contemporary art. On one hand, consideration will be given to foundations of copyright, and in particular reasons to qualify someone’s work for protection by these laws, as seen within the context of contemporary artistic practices. A question will be posed whether traditional ways of understanding the notion of a work cohere with modernist and avant-garde art; we will also investigate cases from court practice, where some serious doubts aroused if a piece of art could actually be considered a work.

On the other hand, our attention will focus on the opposite situation, that is when contemporary artists start dealing with copyright laws wishing to show their inadequacy. Mateusz Bieczyński describes their activities as “artistic practices that contest principles of copyright”. The lecture will thus combine dogmatic and legal considerations on copyrights with theoretical and artistic observation of contemporary art in practice.