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The Gentle Art of Fake: About Copies, Fakes and Appropriations in Contemporary Art

Head: Tommaso Casini

Year 2018

The conference followed by a volume of essays (October-November 2019) - which saw collaboration between the IULM University and the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera - set out to examine both the persistence and increasingly broad and ramified developments of the theme of replicas of works of art, and the increasingly ambiguous concept of fake, in the era of so-called post-truths

In recent decades, interest in and awareness of the complex and nuanced intersection between "authenticity, forgery, copying and reproduction" has grown considerably, crossing - perhaps more than in the past - every sphere of culture, with strong repercussions in our social life, that is in literature, the visual arts, cinema, music, in industrial production, in technology, but also in the historical perception of events, politics and religion. The aim of the conference - the title of which is inspired by the book by the artist/forger Riccardo Nobili, "The gentle art of faking" (1927) - was therefore to discuss the notion of fake, involving critics, art historians and artists in a dialogue on the implications that it assumes in the field of visual cultures, carrying out a wide-ranging investigation covering both the classic roots of the phenomenon (such as the écphrases of fictitious paintings, reinvented in the Renaissance), and its intense proliferation today in the scenario of information and social media.

Particular attention has been paid to the relationship between art and literature, and between art, photography and cinema, given the recurrence of narrative plots involving the notion of forgery, copying, appropriation, and which have as their main setting (and sometimes emotional 'meeting point') the world and market of contemporary art.