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Public art installation in downtown Calgary underpass draws ire from across the pond
Published Tuesday, November 28, 2017 12:08PM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 28, 2017 6:37PM MST
Another city-funded art piece is drawing some attention after a comedian from the United Kingdom says it involves photos of her and her colleagues and was installed without their knowledge.
‘Snapshots’ was installed along the 4 Street S.W. underpass in 2015 at a cost of $20,000 and went relatively unnoticed until U.K.-based comedian Bisha Ali posted on social media that the portraits used in the exhibit were of her and her fellow comedians.
Ali says she’s upset because neither she nor any of the other subjects gave their consent to the artist for their photos to be used.
“I was really surprised because no one ever asked if they could use my giant face, so it was a kind of a surprise to me and certainly the photographer who took the photo. Certainly, no one asked her because we’re friends. I’m sure it would have come up that this massive installation was happening,” Ali said in a Skype interview on Tuesday.
She says all the photos were taken as promotional headshots for a comedy show that she and a number of comedians were involved in.
“This is the ultimate slap in the face; in terms of its plagiarism of other's work which is not acceptable and morally reprehensible to me and a lot of other artists.”
Mayor Nenshi said he was made aware of the issue on Monday and has asked staff to investigate.
"I asked that an investigation be launched but apparently that had already been done by the time I asked for it. We'll get back to the artist, we'll get back to the folks who have concerns and figure out what happened there."