El valor de lo original

“To paint involve the memory of the Works already painted: transform that memory at the moment to actualize the information into a new structure of pictorial significance and reinserted in its present of production. (…) That works appear deforming the source of authority. In that distortion is install the maximum respect for notion of the same source.”


Juan Pastor Mellado, 1983.

It was just after 19:30 p.m in the Sala Chile, located on the second floor of the Fine Arts Museum (MNBA), a noise similar to a honeycomb was noised. Murmurs and conversations of people did not stop to make noise waiting fot the inauguration. While, at sides, works of Copias & Letras filled the room with colors and people. They do not stop arriving.

The inaugural speech was revealing. Nobody imagined that the first works that formed part of the MNBA were copies, as all what surrounded us in that moment. Phrases that were saying by microphone gave way to an evening event full of reflection. Somehow it invites us to question us. From what point of view a work has a different value to the other? Why is more important the original work than the copy? Maybe, because without the original work could never has been a copy nor a quote.

In a while, the crowd had begun to disappear and the temperature of the room returned to normal. Outside the room there are lines of people waiting a sparkling; people that were inside the room enjoyed the space when we walked slowly between one works to other. It was the nights of copies and observers became noticeable. With their cell phones in hand took photos accumulating copies of copies as if they do not let them leave. As if they were an inspiration.


At the entrance, by the left side, there was a canvas that shined with its own light attracting looks of people that were there. The quote of Pablo Ferrer to Napoleón en el paso de San Bernardo of Jacques–Louis David, made in 1801, was a fine irony of the original. For first time I do not see a slender and straight Napoleon on his horse, but as a Lego minifigure on his pony. A representation that demolished the classic advertising speech and the French military power giving way to the maternity of the plastic, of the falseness.

In parallel, in the front wall is observed the copies that in its origins were victims of the rejection and devaluation due to its nature. A time where even the MNBA got rid many of these pieces that had given life and excellence to it in the beginning. But, why a copy has less value than an original if it is able to produce the same effects in the observers? Why finally Los borrachos Diego Velázquez is more valued than the copy attributed to Cherubino Kirchmayr?

At the exit, the guests were divided between the benches and stairs in front of the museum, there were few people who go to their homes directly without dialogue. The attractive of the Copias y Citas exhibition of the Museum of Fine Arts in Chile was open a discussion of the importance of the original in a country where we have always learned to copy.




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