Week 13 – Authenticity in Art

I think authenticity is always of concern with respect to art, but not in the sense of binaries (authenticity v inauthenticity; good v bad). In the modern and postmodern worlds I don’t even think this is a question anymore. One should ask oneself, how does authenticity factor into the piece? Is it a necessary part of the piece being good? Many times, after all, questions of authenticity are PART of a work’s commentary.

However I think now that a question of authenticity almost never factors into the question of, is a piece of art good? Especially because the predominant ethos in art today is a conceptuality, which at this point almost NEVER incorporates authenticity in construction (for instance favoring painting over photography. If anything, the opposite is the case) but ideas. After all, Benjamin says in his piece that what is called for is “theses defining the tendencies of the development of art under the present conditions of production” (19).



2 Responses to “Week 13 – Authenticity in Art”

  1. Erik Luers Says:

    I agree that authenticity doesn’t have much to do with whether or not the work is “good”, but perhaps it has some weight when determining the art’s value. The value seems to be of much importance to art collectors and the like, looking to sell, trade, etc. pieces of art for financial gain and curating practices. Overall, the authenticity of the piece shouldn’t matter to people simply wishing to study a piece of art’s content, but to know that it is a copy nonetheless probably effects our opinions in some way or another. The original Mona Lisa is behind glass, while quick scans of it are available via a quick stop to Google Images. The content is the same but the medium is different, no?

  2. I think authenticity also relates to the story. The motivation for our art is more important that how we come to realize it. Writing seems like there’s no real separation, but i think this also boils down to message & medium, but with an ultimatum more so than a cause and effect.

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