f for fake
for the first class of nothing : creating illusions, i was invited to watch orson welles quasi-documentary f for fake. the film is a labyrinth for “truth” seekers, as it never is honest, yet always honest. the film is a mastery of film editing. scenes are made of a fake set of another fake set, dialogues are created with a dialogue with another dialogue. the film itself, is self-presented to be a documentary essay on "fake" in the art world, the story of the art forger elmyr de hory and his biographer clifford irving who forged an autobiography of howard hughes. words been taken out of context then collaged with other words been taken out of context, all merged into an artificial context that made sense to the spectator.
what is a fake?
a fake hangs long enough in the museum, it will be come real.
a fake is fake only, if there’s an expert.
what is history, is a piece of history a piece of fact?
in the film, the only fact that is undeniable is the existence of the invisible art market, filled with art dealers, experts, artists of any kind. but the rest, is all debatable. as i am reading jean baudrillard’s simulacra and simulation, baudrillard argues that it is myth that invades cinema as imaginary content. it is not criticizing cinema as an art form, but the illusionary factors that are so immersive can blur the sight to real historical facts.
“history is our lost referential, that is to say our myth. … today, the history that is ‘given back’ to us (precisely because it was taken from us) has no more of a relation to a “historical real” than neofiguration in painting does to the classical figuration of the real. Neofiguration is an invocation of resemblance, but at the same time the flagrant proof of the disappearance of objects in their very representation: hyperreal.”
here is a video essay on illusionists and politicians from one of my favorite video writers. a short comment and deep observation of how politicians maneuver and manipulate. in summary, when it comes to the pursuit of truth and realness, the most important is to learn where to look and how to focus in the right context.