CIHA 2016 in Beijing

34th World Congress of Art History

About History Press Release Sessions Schedule Activities Participants Venue Discussion Registration Closed

Schedule of Session 9.pdf

Schedule of Session 9.jpg

Authenticity in the arts, in its relations with the idea of elusion, can be considered in at least three aspects. 


The first is that of authenticity in the artistic creation conceived as the satisfaction of the creator’s intentions. This generic hypothesis can instigate discussion and take specific configurations in different cultures, yet provides a vector for the limits of those satisfactions. The consequence is the necessity of elusions or inventive solutions that are sometimes stimulating. The notion of authenticity imposes theexamination of the relationships between art and censorship (political, religious, moral, social, pedagogical),as well as on broader questions about freedom in art.  It includes the material limits that can be financial or technical. Thanks to the second term of the proposal, both situations presuppose the study of channels that can circumvent obstacles.  In short, it raises a more philosophical debate about the creator’s intentions and completed works.

The second is authenticity linked to authorship. The attributions, the connaisseurship, the studies of primary sources search with obsession to discover who the author is. Attribution has its basis of rigor but also its rhetoric, instruments of conviction and persuasion that faces difficulties which should be overcome. The question also focuses on the diverse principles of restoration in all fields. It presupposes the determined variables in different eras and cultures, the comprehension of authenticity or truth in works of art. Those problems frequently link the notion of authenticity to the art market and its financial value of authorship, a situation that imposes the question about the means, elusive or not, that the art historian needs to situate herself in the complex interplay between “fake” and “authentic”.


The third reaches the status of the notion of art and its situation in diverse cultures. The position of a work dislocated from its primary function (religious, ritual, functional, decorative and symbolic) and incorporated in diverse expository modes reaches what could be called authenticity. It is a matter of new significations that has its own semantic strategies.  They reach the very notion of authenticity in its instrumental status, which for the art historian is determining what its contact with it forcibly requires elusive practices.


Proposed roundtables:

1) Creation versus censorship: conflicts and consequences; 

2) Artistic production and material limits:  its solutions and impasses;

3) Authenticity, attribution and restorations;

4) What does “fake” mean;

5) The work of art resignified in collections, museums, and in the expository modes;

6) The concept of authenticity and the elusive solutions of the art historian.