Montag, 9. April 2018

The copy is the original

https://aeon.co/essays/why-in-china-and-japan-a-copy-is-just-as-good-as-an-original

[via hbd chick]

"T
he Chinese have two different concepts of a copy. Fangzhipin (仿製品) are imitations where the difference from the original is obvious. These are small models or copies that can be purchased in a museum shop, for example. The second concept for a copy is fuzhipin (複製品). They are exact reproductions of the original, which, for the Chinese, are of equal value to the original. It has absolutely no negative connotations."

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"From the start, the production of replicas of the terracotta warriors proceeded in parallel with the excavations. A replica workshop was set up on the excavation site itself. But they were not producing ‘forgeries’. Rather, we might say that the Chinese were trying to restart production, as it were – production that from the beginning was not creation but already reproduction. Indeed, the originals themselves were manufactured through serial mass-production[.]"

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"The Ise Grand Shrine, the supreme Shinto sanctuary located on Honshu island, is 1,300 years old for the millions of Japanese people who go there on pilgrimage every year. But in reality this temple complex is completely rebuilt from scratch every 20 years. This religious practice is so alien to Western art historians that, after heated debates, UNESCO removed this Shinto temple from the list of World Heritage sites. For the experts at UNESCO, the shrine is 20 years old at most."

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"[The] difference between original and copy vanishes altogether. Instead of a difference between original and copy, there appears a difference between old and new. We could even say that the copy is more original than the original, or the copy is closer to the original than the original, for the older the building becomes, the further it is from its original state. A reproduction would restore it, as it were, to its ‘original state’, especially since it is not linked to a particular artist."

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"In the West, when monuments are restored, old traces are often particularly highlighted. Original elements are treated like relics. The Far East is not familiar with this cult of the original."

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