BY JESSE LERNER
Counterfeiting is a practice with broad and devious implications, from the merest of fake objects to entire histories shaped as facsimile. The prologue to this wizardly jumble of newsreel snippets, travelogia, and stagy rants collates early colonial misconceptions of Mexico’s populace, a stewpot of ethnographic and political distortions. From there, Lerner charts the rarefaction of this process that recontextualizes archeological objects as art. In this cultural valuation, Maya and Aztec objects are severed from their origins and further rarified within the confines of museums,. At the center of Ruins is Brigido Lara, a master forger whose pre-Columbian objects have been exhibited in major (and unwitting) museums throughout the U.S. and Europe. Is this the final subterfuge of the colonial projects–the real and the fake indistinguishable?
-Steve Seid, Pacific Film Archives
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