MIMESIS Munich Doctoral Program for Literature and the Arts

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Faking, Forging, Counterfeiting

Discredited Practices at the Margins of Mimesis

Conference of the Munich Doctoral Program for Literature and the Arts MIMESIS
29-31 October 2015
CAS – Centre for Advanced Studies, LMU Munich


Fakes, forgeries and counterfeits are omnipresent as works of art, branded products, biographies, satellite pictures, documents, news, research results, testimonies. They are mimetic practices of unique cultural, economical and political relevance. They alter reality, make history and perform cultural work. As their impact contrasts with their negative connotation, why are they still first and foremost considered as fraud, as deceit, as the shadow of a creative act?
The conference aims to engage an interdisciplinary dialogue on the potential impacts of fakes, involving literature, performance and media studies as well as art history and musicology, with their diverging media and multiple concepts of the original. These practices should be understood as productive mimetic processes and not as morally and legally problematic phenomena. If the so-called original is mimetically constituted, as in the case of art forgery, then faking becomes a phenomenon in the second degree. May that be the fundamental reason for them being discredited? These and similar questions should be discussed with respect to the following research areas:

1. Faking as a process
2. Fakes in intercultural contexts
3. Forgery and related phenomena
4. Mimetic Surfaces: Reflections on Mirrors in the Arts


Conference organization:

Daniel Becker

Simone Niehoff

Florencia Sannders

Yola Schmitz


"Fake for Glory" exhibition:

Bavand Bephoor

Judith Rottenburg

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