About the Museum of Forgery
Antoinette LaFarge, founder and director
The Museum of Forgery is a virtual institute dedicated to promoting an appreciation of the aesthetics of forgery. The museum finds the assignations of value to artworks that depend on authorship puzzling at best, disingenuous at worst. Forgery outs some of the strategies through which the art world lies to itself, and never more so than today, when price has come to partner with authorship in stripping out all other values attributable to a work of art. The museum considers forgery perhaps the only authentic form of art left, since it adheres directly and conscientiously to the subtext of art rather than to the surface thematics.
The Museum's ongoing programs include:
- Excessioning: creating or commissioning works to be credited to the oeuvres of appropriate artists living and dead. This program acknowledges the truths that the Borgesian library of form is infinite, that no one person controls any meaningfully large region thereof, and that it is critical to look past immediate authorship to consider the actual affinities visible in the work itself.
- Do-It-Yourself Forgeries: complete instructions for forging works from museums around the world. This program aims to empower individuals to work freely within whichever art forms and styles they are drawn to, and to liberate citizens from the present oligarchic system under which all 'important' art flows directly to the very rich and their courtiers.
- Box City: sponsoring a free burial ground for unwanted art and related research into the decomposition of art. This program acknowledges the uncomfortable truth that not all art is or needs to be immortal and that we have a social responsibility to deal sensibly with its dispersal as much as with its creation and collection.
- Smothered Art: sponsoring unusual methods for disposing of art. This program aims to turn the end stage of art into its own creative practice.
Projects showcasing some of the museum's key activities are linked from the home page. Most of these were commissioned by the museum between 1992 and 1995. The museum is currently in a dormant phase but will consider commissions for forgeries in line with its stated interests and suggestions for future projects. You can contact us at the address shown at left.
"Here you'll find heady homages to Josef Albers and a "posthumous" piece by the granddaddy of art cons, Marcel Duchamp. A do-it-yourself forgery section treats pilfering ideas as a wholesome arts and crafts project. When you're finished with that, learn how to use art as a mulch alternative, or throw it on the barbie for one helluva meaty steak: It'll keep you busy for hours." —WebMagazine (1996)