Plato’s Nightmare: The Real, the Fake, and the World of Art

Monday, March 5, 2018
5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Screening of F for Fake (dir. Orson Welles, 1974), and pre-show gallery of original artwork by such artists as Cezanne.
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Lectures
DePaul Student Center, room 120
2250 N. Sheffield Ave.

The standard reading of Plato is that a physical pipe is a shadow, a poor imitation of the more realPipe—the perfect abstract Form.  A painting of a pipe is thus twice removed from perfection: a shadow of a shadow. For this reason, artists were to be banned from Plato’s Republic as their work brings us further from the truth.  Does art lie?  Even without committing to Plato’s metaphysic, might his worry have some merit?  After all, an actor pretends to be Hamlet, and a drawing of an apple a day cannot keep the doctor away.  We begin the evening with a look at forgeries, including a screening of Orson Welles’ masterpiece hybrid documentary on fakeness and art, followed by a lecture on Welles’ film by Catherine Benamou (UC Irvine).  DHC Fellow Patty Gerstenblith next investigates the legality of fake records concerning fake and real art and artifacts.  And DePaul Theatre School alumnus, Glenn Davis, makes a case for a truth portrayed on stage or screen being just as real as a truth in everyday life.  Join us at the DHC as we artistically peel the layers of fakeness away and collectively wake from Plato’s nightmare!