Ethics and Media Culture

9 Parody, pastiche or purloining?





Ever since Marcel Duchamp appropriated Leonardo da Vinci’s famous portrait of Mona Lisa readapting it to his own mischievous ends, by endowing it with moustache, goattee and scabrous inscription and put it to good use as a magazine cover , art lost its hitherto unchallenged status of ‘sacred cow’ of all humanistic endeavours.

This essay investigates the implications, legal, ethical and otherwise of the way such ‘borrowings’ could be justified through a simple category shift we call ‘parody’, ‘pastiche’, ‘virtual’, ‘hyperreality’ and much more besides, but never – for the obvious reasons – purloining. ...

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