On Authenticity: 50 ways to -not- understand it

As I spent the summer on one of those extremely touristy islands of the Mediterranean, I could not help but notice that stores and vendors would assail visitors from all sides with “local” “authentic” and “made here” slogans. It seems then that the tourists’ biggest concern is to leave with goods made by the proper hands of the locals. But is this really an authentic truth of one people whose memory we are trying to preserve, or is it a concentration of clichés corresponding to the idea we have of them? Are we being sold the “authentic” or a subterfuge? The question has been bothering me and led me to initiate a reflection on the notion of authenticity in art, a concept in permanent debate.

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