On 27/28 October 2011, SIK-ISEA held an international colloquium on authenticity in the fine art of the Modern era. It began by considering the lack of clarity around the definition of this term, and went on to consider critiques of authenticity since the Modern era began and how legitimate the concept still is today. Authenticity was examined in relation to the artistic object, the artist, interpretations in art history and aesthetics, in the media, in art institutions and collections, in the market and in museums. Concepts such as original, autonomous, reproduction, forgery, truth, original status and legitimation were questioned in the context of different artistic genres. The debate ranged from the theory underlying the concept to the way authenticity is handled as an issue for digital media and in conserving ephemeral materials. The publication brings together a selection of contributions to the symposium.
Denise Colomb (1902–2004), Hans Arp, Meudon, 1954, black & white photograph, 30 x 23.5 cm
Examining paint layers on a wooden sculpture under the technoscope, 1969, Swiss Institute for Art Research, photo: Fred Mayer, Zurich