Controversy concerning de Chirico


Giorgio de Chirico, Love Song, 1914, Museum of...

De Chirico cannot fake himself.

What does this really mean? There are many strands here.

The law of contract, from which humans in the west have assumed an appropriate way of acting and an appropriate chronology, offers itself in language as an apposite paradigm in the absence of an operating dialectics of irony. In the world of art no plays are natural, that is to say all action, every event which calls itself art is a cultural event drawn on precedent. Nothing springs out from some origin, nothing is original in the sense of such a springing out, nothing is born unscarred from the bosom of the godhead, nothing , in nuce is authentic .

To call the later de Chirico’s fake is to invoke this law of contract with assumed terms, to wit, that the usual chronology of contract should obtain vis.: an event which takes place in the present will precede events in the future and follow events in the past. Determination of the appearance of art, the act of making art come into being at de Chirico’s hand, must be his and cannot be another’s. Should he have determined that a painting by his hand will have the form of an earlier work, so be it. Should he have determined that the work be a copy of an earlier work, so be it. Should he have determined to represent such a work as painted at an earlier time, this would be a lie, but would not make the work anything other than it is, a work of art which attempts to masquerade as one which has an earlier chronology.

The value of the work, determined in contract cannot be the same as the work itself, whatever its derivation. To assume an alteration of projected value is an act of reference to transactional terms no mater weather these terms are pecuniary, ethical or aesthetical terms. There is disappointment in an unexpected outcome which engenders a sort of childlike petulance demanding redress.

Humans are generally poor philosophers so they cannot conclude with Wittgenstein that the world is all that is the case.

The issue here does not concern the actions of de Chirico, which after all, have been proscribed by others who feel, for their own reasons, that they can identify a lie: it concerns the notion of the authentic itself.


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