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Viewing the Value of Counterfeit Products from “Legal Copy”

  ”Copie Conforme” (Copie Conforme, also translated as “Copy as It Is”) is a film released in 2010 by Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. Following the “Village Trilogy” composed of “Where is My Friend’s Home”, “Growing and Living”, “Lovers Under the Olive Tree” and subsequent films such as “The Taste of Cherry” and “Gone with the Wind”, Ah Bass has not only become the leader of the Iranian film industry, but also a banner of the Asian film industry. “Legal Copy” is a film that Abbas went abroad and shot in a foreign creative environment. It is different from the localized vision and the theme expression focusing on social reality in Abbas’s previous films. The village moved to Italy, which is full of humanistic atmosphere, to discuss the value of fakes and the authenticity of art.
  The film tells the story of the British writer James Miller who came to Tuscany, Italy to hold a new book launch event for his new work “Legal Copy”. true opinion. A French woman who sells antiques took her son to participate in the press conference, but was interrupted by her son and left early. Afterwards, the woman and the writer met again in her antique shop, and drove to the art museum together, and the two talked about the topic of “truth” on the road. In a cafe, the female boss mistook the writer for the woman’s husband, and the two played the role of a married couple who had been married for 15 years. The film is 106 minutes long. The first half of the movie is always discussing the issue of artistic reality, that is, whether there is a difference between the original and the fake. The middle section is used as the dividing point, starting from the two consciously acting as a husband and wife, realizing the connection and connection from objects to people. Transformation, the film switches from the authenticity of artworks to the authenticity of characters.
Aesthetic qualities and artistic value: The debate over the legitimacy of counterfeits

  The existence or non-existence of authenticity and originality is an important value measurement dimension to distinguish the authenticity of artworks. Since Nelson Goodman started to explore the issue of forgery, the fields of aesthetics and art philosophy have always been arguing about how to define forgery in terms of aesthetic value and artistic value. The judgment dimension of fakes can be divided into external aesthetic characteristics and internal historical value. Formalists who emphasize aesthetics believe that there is no difference in aesthetic dimensions between fakes and authentic works. Lines, colors and structural methods, if a counterfeit can achieve the same effect as the original in terms of aesthetic perception experience, it has some kind of legitimacy. The other school of view believes that the judgment of artworks must enter the scene of historical creation, and pay attention to who, why, and how they are produced. This process is devoted to the artist’s unique personal experience and artistic conception, and is a specific historical moment. The specific manifestation of personal creative intentions and perception methods is one-time, original, irreplaceable and anti-replication. In fact, the production of counterfeit works is not synchronized with the authentic works of art. On the contrary, when the art system and its history develop to a certain extent, it is a contradictory concept born out of the guarantee of the absolute authority of the creator and the system itself. After the Renaissance, and especially in the 19th century, which emphasized genius, individuality and originality, it became the target of public criticism in the context of artistic self-discipline. ’—the omission and obliteration of the historical process of being uniquely present where it is.” The authentic and the original are already unique in the sense of time and space when they are born, thus possessing an “aura” (aura), while the fake, no matter how perfect in form, cannot replace the historical significance of the original.
  In “Legal Copy”, the first half of the film is obviously more inclined to the formalist point of view, that is, there is no aesthetic difference and value distinction between the fake and the original. At the press conference of the new book in the first scene, the writer explained his views on the authenticity of art with the title of his book “Legal Copy”: “I just want to prove that the copy itself is also valuable, because the copy leads us to the original work.” , certified its value.” “We have always worried about originality and authenticity, which has been consistent from our ancestors to the present. For us, the word original has more positive connotations: authentic, pure, reliable, long-lasting, with Intrinsic value, it’s interesting to trace the etymology of this word, the original meaning of the Latin is to rise or to be born, I especially like the meaning of the birth of the word original, I want to take this concept to the extreme. Comparing artistic reproduction with human Copying, after all, we are replicas of the DNA of our ancestors, and examining the original is tantamount to questioning the origin of human civilization and exploring the foundation of human civilization.” This passage clearly expresses the writer’s view on the truth of art, that is, the authenticity of artistic creation. Discussion is unnecessary, since the forgery is itself the original, and the original is copied from other works.
  Afterwards, the writer and the woman meet again in an antique shop. It is quite meaningful for Abbas to set the woman’s identity as a businessman in the antique business. Making a living by collecting and trading antiques means that the heroine’s life revolves around distinguishing the truth from the false. of. On the way to the art museum, the two talked about the authenticity of art again. At this time, the woman introduced her friend Mary as a third-person perspective. Mary loves artificial jewelry and thinks fake jewelry is as good as real jewelry. He won’t worry about being stolen, and thinks that “a good imitation is better than the real thing”. The writer said that he and Mary have the same point of view. Convince yourself of your beliefs.

Legal Copy movie poster

  In a scene in the art museum, an art counterfeit was directly used as the center of the discussion, so that the authenticity and falsehood that the two talked about along the way had specific objects as evidence. The art museum displays a portrait of the muse Polymnia, the goddess of psalms in ancient Greek mythology. For many years, people thought that this painting was Roman art until the 20th century, about 50 It was only discovered a few years ago that the Neapolitan blacksmith had copied it, but the gallery decided to preserve the portrait as the original, since it is in fact as beautiful as the original. The original work was in Herculaneum near Naples. The excavation process was very interesting. The original work was part of a Roman mural. The director of the excavation site was a Tuscan. He commissioned a blacksmith to copy the painting and declared that he was in his hometown. Dug, to enhance the reputation of Tuscany. Here, the deceitful intention of the counterfeit is not to obtain economic benefits, but to realize the social value of promoting the city’s cultural image and increasing popularity. After learning about the background of the painting, the writer said: “The original painting is just a copy of the beauty of the girl in the painting, and the girl is the real original. It can be proved by the same token that the Mona Lisa also copied Gioconda and her smile. So far, the writer still adheres to the concept that there is no difference between the fake and the original, or because there is no absolute original, so there is no such concept as a counterfeit relative to the authentic. Absolute originality and authenticity are fundamentally rejected.

  In fact, writers’ views on the authenticity of art are not commensurate. According to Goodman’s classification of art as autographic and allographic, painting belongs to the former, while literature and music belong to the latter. . The art of ghostwriting has symbols (such as words, musical notes) as an intermediary, and these symbols are stable and objective. For example, no matter how many versions there are of a literary work, as long as the copy is the same in terms of text composition, that is, the symbol is perfectly realized. copying, then the copy is equal to the original. But painting is an act of artistic creation that is full of accidents in the process of painting, and there is no prescribed symbolic medium, so there is a distinction between fakes and authentic works. A writer’s experience in literary creation obviously cannot be used in other artistic fields.
  So far, the film has discussed the authenticity of art through the dialogue and exchange of three scenes, and expressed such a point of view through the writer’s mouth: there is no distinction between true and false art, and counterfeit and imitation are equally meaningful and valuable.
The Emotional Filling of the Absence of the Original and the Fake

  Whether it is the aesthetic experience advocated by the Formalists should be independent of the specific historical production context of artworks, or the emphasis of the historicists on the originality of the production and creation process of artworks, they all give an answer to the question of “what is true”. The possible solution of is a judgment dimension for distinguishing fakes and replicas from genuine ones. In “Legal Copy”, after extensively discussing the difference between authenticity and fakeness of artworks, Abbas creatively puts forward the emotional supplementary function of fakes, opening up emotionality beyond the scope of aesthetics and history. Dimensions to explore the emotional reality of fakes.
  In the middle of the movie, after the two came out of the art gallery, they found a cafe to rest. During the period, the writer walked out of the cafe to answer the phone. At this time, the female owner of the cafe started talking with the woman. Surprisingly, the woman did not deny it immediately, but took advantage of the situation to play the role of wife, and then the two naturally and tacitly acted as a couple who had been married for 15 years. At this time, the film was in the middle, and Abbas was obviously not satisfied with confining the discussion of authenticity to works of art. He also wanted to extend the issue from objects to people. Meaning, then can the substitute person fill the emotional absence caused by the absent one? In the film, the woman’s husband is always absent, and from the dialogue, it can be inferred that the married life of the two is not going well. The husband has long neglected his wife and family, and the wife has had a long-standing grudge. At this time, the film begins with ” Since the “husband as the original” cannot realize its emotional function, can the “husband as a counterfeit” who fills in the husband’s role achieve emotional replacement?

“Legal Copy” Movie Stills

  After the two walked out of the cafe, they quarreled endlessly along the way, and the quarrels were nothing more than trivial things in life. The woman complained that the writer did not care about children, forgot the wedding anniversary, and did not care about her own feelings. The writer blamed the woman for being sentimental and making a fuss. People seem to be exhausted from a mid-life crisis. The movie does not mention the reason why the woman’s “original husband” is missing, but from the woman’s complaints and dissatisfaction, it can be roughly inferred the reason for the separation of the two. Perhaps it is the trivial and cumbersome real life that wears down the love, making the two people feel sad. When faced with the heavy truth of life, they had to choose to part ways. This series of dialogues is a possible imitation of what happened between a real couple (the original work). At this time, the writer has freely replaced his identity, and adjusted his emotional coping strategy in time according to the on-site interaction and feedback with the woman. , he switched the language from English to French very substitutingly, trying to present the true nature of the husband in the original work as much as possible. Spend. On the way, they met an elderly couple who had been hand in hand for half their lives. The old man warned the writer not to magnify the small conflicts in married life. Maybe what a woman wants is such a simple action as putting her hands on her back. The writer followed the old man’s advice and naturally put his hand on the woman’s shoulder to show intimacy, which is an important step for the fake to fill the emotional gap. After the two entered a restaurant, they quarreled over the aforementioned trivial matters. The woman believed that the man no longer loved her, but the man relieved that they still love each other, but after a long marriage life, they expressed it. The forms are different. They defended themselves fiercely. However, in emotional issues, there is only a position, and there is no right or wrong. The two finally returned to calm from the argument. The writer quit the imitation game and left alone.
  On the surface, although fakes can play the role of the original, they still seem to fall into the same dilemma of emotional expression and repeat the same problem of emotional communication, since the fakes reproduce the flaws and regrets of the original while copying the original. So how can the value of fakes be reflected? What the audience expects to see is that when the writer “husband as a fake” fills in the role of “husband as the original”, he will take good care of and love women, and will work hard to fill the emotional gap left by the original, and will Let women and the audience fall into the illusion of a desire to be satisfied, but in this way, it is obvious that the counterfeit deviates from the original work in terms of the most fundamental characteristic-similarity, and thus falls into a paradox. The solution given by the film The path is that being present is an emotional complement. As long as the original is not present, the existence of the forgery is valuable. Those quarrels and contradictions still exist, and the flaws belonging to the original work are also preserved. The fake has not been repaired in any way, but the fact that his body is present has provided women with emotional value. His listening, companionship and other real and effective emotions Expression fills the emotional gap created by the absence of the original. Some commentators believe that “in the problem of counterfeiting, the author is not absent, but replaced.” The authenticity of art comes from the original experience of the original creator, and the counterfeit cannot replicate this authorship and experience process, but it has its own When the “husband as the original work” is not present from the physical level of the body to the social identity level, the subjectivity and existence value of the “husband as a fake” are highlighted. Abbas used the method of pretending to be a husband and wife, which is not only a performance art, but also a theoretical practice, to extend and expand the artistic authenticity of the first half of the film, and to conduct a bold experiment on whether the fake is valuable and what the value is.

“Legal Copy” Movie Stills

  Abbas is regarded as the spiritual successor of Italian neorealism, and he focuses on exploring the relationship between fiction and reality in terms of film techniques and themes. In order to maximize the realistic style in the images, he uses a lot of Deep-focus long shots, simultaneous sound, and the use of non-professional actors, etc., and the storytelling is anti-plot, and even adopts some reflexive video practices to highlight the characteristics of the film medium itself. The woman in “Legal Copy” There are two close-up shots of the author and the writer looking directly at the audience, as if to remind the movie viewers in front of the screen that there is a difference between the fake and the original, and the distance between the movie and reality.
  In “Legal Copy”, Abbas continued his discussion on the topic of truth and falsehood, but he, who is good at creating “unfinished” movies, only raised questions in the movie and did not make a final conclusion. Give the answer, and accommodate different interpretation angles with polysemy and open narrative space. After watching the movie, the value of the counterfeit and the authenticity of the art are left for the audience to continue to explore.

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