A Good Fake or a Bad Fake?

You will likely remember the (somewhat) recent restoration of Ecce Homo in Spain that resulted in a rather different representation of Jesus in the newly finished product. It quickly became a meme and has since been circulated widely on the internet. It came to mind after seeing this following video about art restoration. Take a look:

The video takes us through the process of the restoration of Mother Mary to demonstrate the ways in which art is maintained to last. But as I was watching the video, I began to wonder when restorations are considered to be good and necessary and when they are considered to be destructive. As shown in the video, much care is taken with the restoration process — every detail attended to with great care. While the finished restoration of Mother Mary is, to the casual observer, far more similar than that of Ecce Homo to the worn image we see in the beginning of the video, are the restorations of the two all that different, practically speaking? Continue reading “A Good Fake or a Bad Fake?”

Putting the Ice in Artifice


Have you watched “White Christmas” (1954) recently? It’s a classic for a number of reasons — e.g., it was the first movie filmed in VistaVision — but something that caught my attention recently was the way the film plays with artifice. Continue reading “Putting the Ice in Artifice”

All the World’s a Stage

cosplayIt’s hard not to know about the penchant for cosplay (short for “costume play”) that’s all over the internet — where people dress up like characters and attend conferences or engage in various forms of role playing. Some consider it a hobby, others call it performance art.

Maybe it’s how you spend your weekends…. Continue reading “All the World’s a Stage”

The Social Has Effects

Just because we collectively make things happen — things that provide the conditions in which we all live and move, like defining this as race or that as religion, or this as meaning stop and that as meaning go — doesn’t make those conditions or our actions within them fake.

We’re All Made Somewhere Else

mug2My wife and a good friend recently went to Waffle House, a favorite of people in the American south since 1955 — both retirees and blue collar workers looking for a cup’a joe as well as late night high school and college partiers looking for some after-hours carbs to offset the evening’s, shall we say, intake. That is, the stools at its counters strike me as populated by a curiously inter-generational mix of people who wear their trucker’s hats ironically and those who wear them just because they do. And although I wasn’t there for breakfast I got a mug out of the deal.

A mug made in China. Continue reading “We’re All Made Somewhere Else”