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2839Re: [African_Arts] Re: Extensive African art exhibit, 'Masquerade,' on display at UCM's library until Feb. 28 | digitalBURG.com

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  • Lee Rubinstein
    Jan 15, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi, Steve:

      I understand the points you are making about authenticity, forgery and misrepresentation.  There is an inherent ambiguity in the use of terms and phrases such as authentic and "African art";  given the multiple elements of discussion, it is sometimes difficult in informal discourse to be crystal clear as to which aspect one is referring.  Briefly, the distinctions which I aim -- but perhaps have failed -- to clarify are these:

      Firstly, with regard to the classification of an object as authentic African art -- and/or its exclusion from said class, I think your statement assumes falsely a universal expectation that "authentic African art" means ritually used objects in the sense which is shared by many individuals -- but not all.  The definitions which are accepted within some communities do not necessarily have significance or importance in others.  We are not all pursuing the same "ideal" in the objects which we find meaningful, and there seems to be a futile insistence that everyone must define authenticity and African art in the same way.   The point which I am trying to make here is that reproduction does not disqualify a work from being classified as African art, and the assumption that every viewer or buyer is seeking ritually used pieces and necessarily defines "African art" as that which satisfies the criteria of provable ritual use is, I think, overly narrow.  (On the other hand, works which can indeed be traced to ritual use still may not satisfy other requirements of various collectors, curators and individuals on the basis of other constraints such as age and media.) Although it would make life simpler if not far less interesting, it is not possible to arrive upon a single concept of authenticity or African art -- especially given the fact that the IDEA of African art is a purely theoretical, imposed construct which can and will continue to have diverse meanings and values. 

      Secondly, a finely crafted reproduction may or may not be created with the intention to deceive.  Although you present one scenario of possible intent to deceive, I don't assume that such practices are always the scenario in which reproductions are created nor do I further assume that the artisan who crafts the work is necessarily the same individual (or shares the intent) to change an object's appearance or to represent the work falsely as something which it is not.  Misrepresentation is a condition produced by the market (and is a condition which may be inserted into loci of production as a motivation) but it is not necessarily a precondition for all instances of creation from which these objects emerge.

      Lee

      On Jan 15, 2008, at 3:26 PM, Steve Price wrote:

      Hi Lee

      You wrote, "... in seeking to distinguish between "African art" and 
      works "'inspired by African art'," where is the line drawn, and by 
      whom? By what criteria are these lines drawn to validate or 
      disqualify works created in Africa by African artisans as authentic 
      African art?"

      A Cameroonian can make a byeri figure, patinate it, stick its base in 
      the ground for a couple of weeks to cause some rotting and erosion. 
      He will be paid by someone who will represent the figure as an old 
      Fang reliquary guardian and sell it in the west. The item is 
      authentically African, and if it warrants being called art, it's 
      authentic African art. Who cares? The only thing that's important 
      is that it isn't a Fang reliquary guardian. That makes it a forgery, 
      whether it was made in Africa or Asia. 

      A forgery of a Rolex isn't an authentic Rolex. Who cares whether it 
      was made in Switzerland or in China? The only thing that's important 
      is that it isn't a Rolex. That makes it a forgery.

      Steve Price 

      --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, Lee Rubinstein 
      <LeeRubinstein@ ...> wrote:
      >
      > A number of questions are prompted by the contributions offered 
      thus 
      > far in considering this issue. Some of these questions that come 
      to 
      > mind pertain to the need for clarification regarding just how the 
      > objects in the exhibition from which this conversation stems are 
      > indeed being framed and presented. I myself have not seen 
      sufficient 
      > information to understand fully what claims have been made 
      regarding 
      > the authenticity of works or what definition of authenticity has 
      or 
      > has not been applied to the works presented in this exhibition. 
      Does 
      > anyone have further information?
      > 
      > Also, more generally, in seeking to distinguish between "African 
      art" 
      > and works "'inspired by African art'," where is the line drawn, 
      and 
      > by whom? By what criteria are these lines drawn to validate or 
      > disqualify works created in Africa by African artisans as 
      authentic 
      > African art? While I do recognize that one may wish to 
      > differentiate between authenticated ritual objects and 
      reproductions 
      > thereof, this distinction regarding ritual authenticity is not one 
      > and the same as the distinction regarding that which is 
      authentically 
      > African. Authenticity does not by all definitions exclude modern 
      > reproductions as part of the broader field of African art. The 
      > complexity of the issue and the range of sub-fields within African 
      > art production make this a challenging endeavor indeed. A good 
      > illustrative instance that speaks to this point is the confusion 
      that 
      > equates age with authenticity. The continued creation of ritual 
      > objects that satisfy the requirements of ritual authenticity -- 
      but 
      > which do not adhere to the age requirements that constitutes the 
      > preferred definition of authenticity held by some -- occupy an 
      > ambiguous, contested terrain. Artistic production as an 
      expression 
      > of evolving cultures and societies both changes form and 
      integrates 
      > new media. As a case in point, I invite respondents to consider 
      and 
      > classify the paintings presented in these articles previously 
      shared 
      > by Moyo: 
      http://www.universi tyofafricanart. org/Image/ Text/afilaka. pdf 
      > and http://www.universi tyofafricanart. org/Image/ Text/ 
      > beautifiers3. pdf. Although markedly divergent from the form 
      broadly 
      > associated with "classical" imposed definitions of African art, 
      does 
      > one -- and if so, on what basis does one -- disqualify the 
      ritually 
      > authentic works from the body of authentic African art when the 
      > ritual context in which they are created is indeed documented?
      > 
      > Another significant question (or complex of questions) pertains to 
      > the issue of where misidentification and misrepresentation 
      > originate. As committed as I am to the pursuit of Truth -- and to 
      > the clarification of which Truth is being defended at any given 
      > moment, I can't help but to seek an understanding of the 
      motivations 
      > behind reproduction and to underline once more the ambiguities of 
      > intent which are often attached to the creation of reproductions. 
      > Among the most interesting situations to consider in this regard 
      is 
      > the discussion of the Konaté blacksmith clan provided by 
      Christopher 
      > Roy in the essay "Centers of Style of African Sculpture" in Art 
      and 
      > Life in Africa: Selections from the Stanley Collection, 
      Exhibitions 
      > of 1985 and 1992. Roy recounts the history of these carvers now 
      > residing in Ouri, Burkina Faso. The Konatés in Ouri are of Mande 
      > origin and migrated in preceding generations from the Mandé area 
      of 
      > Mali to Ouri, Burkina Faso via Kapo (a Bobo village) and Ouakara 
      (a 
      > Bwa-Marka-Dafing town) and continue to carve masks in Ouri for mask-

      > owning clans of neighboring villages of the Nuna, Marka Dafing, Ko 
      > and Bwa. (One member of the family migrated further to Nouna and 
      > carves for Bwa and Bobo-Fing clients in that area of northwestern 
      > Burkina Faso). The point to which I am leading are illustrated 
      > through these passages:
      > 
      > "Not only does the Konaté family in Ouri produce objects for five 
      > major neighboring groups, they also produce large numbers of masks 
      > for the tourist trade in Ouagadougou. They refer to these as 
      > 'copies,' and are able to distinguish clearly between traditional 
      > masks for use by local villagers, and tourist 'copies to be sold 
      in 
      > Ouagadougou. They distinguish between them on the basis of style, 
      > quality, and whether or not the necessary sacrifices were done 
      during 
      > the carving process -- sacrifices which make a traditional mask 
      > function effectively. " (p. 5)
      > 
      > "The active Konaté sculptors are able to distinguish the 
      > characteristics of the five styles in which they carve, and will 
      > point to the foliate patterns that radiate from the eyes of a Nuna 
      > mask, or the diamond-shaped mouth of may Ko masks, as 
      characteristics 
      > of a particular tribal style that must be included to satisfy 
      their 
      > clients. Nevertheless, their work is very homogenous in terms of 
      > proportions, composition, color and technique... few casual 
      > spectators can tell them apart. In the past six years, numerous 
      > scholars of African art, involved with public or private 
      collections 
      > that include masks from the area, have called me to seek help 
      > identifying the styles of groups in this area. Although the 
      Konaté 
      > can identify the styles they carve, the characteristic patterns 
      are 
      > so subtly different that few people outside of the area can 
      > distinguish Nuna masks from Ko or Bwa masks.
      > 
      > "It is not unusual for a family or workshop to produce masks for a 
      > number of communities spread over a broad area belonging to a 
      single 
      > ethnic group. This has occurred frequently in Africa, and 
      elsewhere 
      > in the world... It is far more unusual, however, to find a single 
      > workshop producing sculpture for five different ethnic groups, in 
      > styles which, though identifiable, by the carvers and owners, are 
      so 
      > homogenous that no one else can tell them apart... Perhaps 
      historians 
      > of African art should now ask if objects in similar or identical 
      > styles were produced in 'Centers of Style,' where artists of one 
      > ethnic group produced art for all of their neighbors. Perhaps it 
      is 
      > even more important to cease attempting to break down large 
      regional 
      > styles into finer and finer tribal styles, and to recognize that 
      > artists in Africa are capable of producing work not only in their 
      own 
      > style, but in the styles of their neighbors. It is clear that, at 
      > least in central Burkina Faso, we cannot tell which group produced 
      an 
      > object by analyzing fine style characteristics. " (p. 7)
      > 
      > These passages illuminate the extreme complexities in achieving a 
      > masterful command of the criteria upon which to posit accurate 
      > identification and assessment of object authenticity even through 
      a 
      > well-informed visual assessment of style. Further, the 
      assumptions 
      > made regarding the authorship of works as a criterion of 
      establishing 
      > authenticity also appears rather complicated. Too, as I have 
      cited 
      > this example in previous discussions, the fact that ritual masks 
      and 
      > tourist masks are created by the same hand, trebles the ambiguity 
      and 
      > difficulty in attributing authenticity and cultural origin to many 
      an 
      > object. So, beyond even the alleged subterfuge of 
      misrepresentation, 
      > we have the challenge of the more subtle subterfuge of 
      > misidentification derived from an over-stated mastery in 
      > distinguishing the features which constitute assessments of 
      > authenticity. This range of ambiguities does not even take into 
      > account the judgments which are made regarding the objects 
      produced 
      > by the same hands to fulfill both the requirements of ritual use 
      and 
      > commercial demand! Further, I would also like to point out that 
      the 
      > misrepresentation often does not originate with the carver but 
      rather 
      > may be created through various levels of conspiratorial collusion 
      at 
      > market levels to add value to works traded (sold, auctioned, 
      > donated). As Dr. Roy indicates, efforts are often made to seek 
      > "expert" opinion to support accurate identification and 
      > authentication; yet, I am inclined to wonder about the relative 
      > frequency -- and accessibility -- of such fastidious referencing. 
      I 
      > would imagine that assessments are far more often defaulted to 
      less 
      > authoritative sources than the indigenous sources -- even the 
      > creators themselves, when possible, who might best provide the 
      > highest level of scrutiny and commentary with regard to ritual 
      > authenticity.
      > 
      > In addition to my resistance to attributing nefarious intent to 
      the 
      > artisans, one must again consider the context in which artistic 
      > production is often undertaken. As it is indeed challenging to 
      > distinguish among objects, so too is it a broad stroke to 
      attribute 
      > the negative, deceptive intent which arises through market-
      motivated 
      > greed to all participants in the process of creating 
      reproductions. 
      > Controlling and exacting value from African-originated commodities 
      > (minerals, oil, art...) is among the most significant challenges 
      in 
      > African economic development. Relocating value-addition to the 
      > product before it leaves the continent and thus contributing more 
      to 
      > African economies remains, I think, the great challenge in all 
      fields 
      > of global trade of products from Africa. Within the realm of art 
      > both African and non-African, there is considerable room for 
      > improvement in the way in which financial gains are apportioned 
      > between artists and purveyors as well.
      > 
      > Returning to the realm of curatorial responsibility to identify 
      and 
      > present accurately works on exhibition, anyone who has mounted an 
      > exhibition or sought to document conclusively a previously 
      > undocumented object recognizes the challenges inherent in these 
      > undertakings. Suggesting (perhaps hyperbolically) that "Had they 
      > opened any decent book on African art they would have seen a 
      dramatic 
      > difference between the illustrated works and the claptrap they 
      chose 
      > for their exhibition" presumes wrongly, I think, that what might 
      > become clear to a more experienced eye is so obvious at first 
      glance 
      > or with a minimal effort. While I appreciate the emotion and idea 
      > behind the suggestion, the fact that all our combined hours and 
      years 
      > of exploration still barely scrape the surfaces of even one mere 
      > corner of this vast field might provide a fair reminder that as 
      > evolves the art, so too evolves the eye and the understanding of 
      it. 
      > Again, many museums have neither the human nor the financial 
      > resources to provide the curatorial expertise suggested here.
      > 
      > Still, the offense taken and the suggestion of the wide 
      availability 
      > of "honorable pieces" and "collectors who would be glad to share 
      > their treasures" reminds me of the persistence of political and 
      > economic machinations that frame the process through which works 
      are 
      > indeed allowed -- or disallowed from -- public exhibition. 
      > Personally, though to a limited extent, I have engaged in efforts 
      to 
      > engage various institutions in exhibitions of works which have 
      > included well-documented, authenticated and even canonical African 
      > works to be met with resistance stemming from what I perceive to 
      be 
      > politics of social and economic exclusion and a limited body of 
      > individuals seeking to control the flow of objects and ideas. 
      > Efforts continue to be made to maintain a culture of exclusion and 
      > exclusivity that insists upon limiting public presentation to 
      objects 
      > belonging to certain institutions and/or to a limited sphere of 
      > collectors who are also institutional patrons and benefactors. In 
      > many ways the museum community often appears to be as eagerly 
      > committed to the same control of value as is evidenced in the 
      > commercial realm. Ideally, this is just a rough patch in the 
      West's 
      > transitioning African material culture from the ethnographic to 
      the 
      > aesthetic.
      > 
      > Lee
      > 
      > On Jan 15, 2008, at 2:29 PM, Steve Price wrote:
      > 
      > > Hi Anon
      > >
      > > I was not aware that Henry Drewal, although an American born
      > > caucasian, is actually a Yoruba chief. Knowing that, if he carves
      > > masks for Yoruba festivities, they are Yoruba carvings.
      > >
      > > As for Cameroonians making byeri figures with applied patination 
      and
      > > intentional erosion and selling them to westerners as reliquary
      > > guardians made by Fang carvers 100 years ago, I think we are at an
      > > impasse. You see them as artists expanding their creativity, I see
      > > them as forgers. Perhaps we've reached the point at which we 
      should
      > > just agree to disagree. That would work for me.
      > >
      > > Steve Price
      > >
      > > --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, Mo Okdg <okdg@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Dear Steve:
      > > >
      > > > Henry Drewal is a white American man, and also an
      > > > AUTHENTIC Yoruba chief. From a western binary
      > > > perspective of either/or, this is difficult to
      > > > understand. Yet from a convoluted Yoruba perspective,
      > > > Drewal is accepted as an important Yoruba man in the
      > > > Ijebu, Egbado and Egba communities that consider him
      > > > important to their rituals and other activities. It is
      > > > different from a Chinese shoe by a Chinese guy who has
      > > > never been to the US and has no connection with
      > > > Americans.
      > > >
      > > > We may call the African artists name like forgers.
      > > > They will be amused. They used to be called primitive,
      > > > tribal, naive etc.
      > > >
      > > > If an artist is working today, he is a contemporary
      > > > artist free to do whatever s'he likes, even though
      > > > we'd like to control the African artist and
      > > > anticipate/stereoty pe his work.
      > > >
      > > > Anon
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --- Steve Price <sprice@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > Hi Anon
      > > > >
      > > > > I'm having a terrible time following your reasoning.
      > > > > A forger isn't
      > > > > an artist, he's a forger. A Cameroonian making fake
      > > > > Fang byeri
      > > > > figures this week isn't a 19th century Fang carver.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > The notion that artistic conventions evolve doesn't
      > > > > bother me at
      > > > > all. But the notion that forgery is a legitimate
      > > > > artistic convention
      > > > > just won't settle down into the part of my brain
      > > > > that holds what I
      > > > > think of as sensible things.
      > > > >
      > > > > Henry Drewal carved gelede masks under Yoruba
      > > > > commission, and those
      > > > > masks were danced by local Yoruba people. So what?
      > > > > I'm wearing
      > > > > shoes made in China. Does that make the factory
      > > > > workers who sewed my
      > > > > shoes Virginians? I don't think so, and I'll bet
      > > > > they don't think so
      > > > > either. By the same reasoning, I don't think Henry
      > > > > Drewal's carvings
      > > > > made him a Yoruba, so his masks weren't Yoruba
      > > > > masks.
      > > > >
      > > > > Anyway, we're not talking about Cameroonians carving
      > > > > chi waras that
      > > > > Bamana people dance. We're talking about
      > > > > Cameroonians carving chi
      > > > > waras to sell to Americans and Europeans that they
      > > > > can fool into
      > > > > thinking the chi waras were made by and danced by
      > > > > Bamana many years
      > > > > ago. That's not an artist expressing his
      > > > > creativity, it's a craftsman
      > > > > making forgeries.
      > > > >
      > > > > Steve Price
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, Mo Okdg
      > > > > <okdg@> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Dear Steve:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > That the African artist is defying stereotypes
      > > > > seems
      > > > > > frustrating to speculators and collectors. These
      > > > > > artists, like artists elsewhere, are responding
      > > > > to
      > > > > > market desires. African artists are refusing to be
      > > > > > limited by externally=drawn "tribal" boundaries.
      > > > > This
      > > > > > is why, as you noticed, "Men in Cameroon workshops
      > > > > > busily carve pieces to look like the work of
      > > > > African
      > > > > > tribespeople from other places, fix them up with
      > > > > > artificial patination, bury them in dirt to give
      > > > > them
      > > > > > some rotted areas." But the real question is this:
      > > > > > When you call an artist Yoruba, or Bamana, what
      > > > > does
      > > > > > this really mean? It seems outsiders would like to
      > > > > > impose rigid boundaries that African do not always
      > > > > > recognize or enshrine.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > What stops a Cameroonian artist from working in a
      > > > > > Dogon style? Only his/her imagination is the
      > > > > barrier.
      > > > > > There are American Impressionists although
      > > > > > Impressionism is European.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I once showed this group a Gelede mask dancing in
      > > > > > Egbado villages. It was carved by Henry Drewal and
      > > > > > commissioned by the villagers. Is this Yoruba art?
      > > > > A
      > > > > > fake?
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Anon
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > --- Steve Price <sprice@> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > > Hi Anon
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Surely, you don't deny that some African art is
      > > > > made
      > > > > > > with the
      > > > > > > intention of fooling the buyers into thinking
      > > > > that
      > > > > > > it's something
      > > > > > > that it isn't. Men in Cameroon workshops busily
      > > > > > > carve pieces to look
      > > > > > > like the work of African tribespeople from other
      > > > > > > places, fix them up
      > > > > > > with artificial patination, bury them in dirt to
      > > > > > > give them some
      > > > > > > rotted areas. The pieces are then sold by being
      > > > > > > misrepresented as
      > > > > > > the things on which they are based. African or
      > > > > not,
      > > > > > > those are
      > > > > > > fakes.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > As for the issue of whether it's better for a
      > > > > museum
      > > > > > > to present the
      > > > > > > public with fakes than with nothing African at
      > > > > all:
      > > > > > > it would be
      > > > > > > better, but only if the fakes are presented as
      > > > > > > reproductions. Fraud
      > > > > > > (there are probably more polite words, but it's
      > > > > > > early in the morning
      > > > > > > and I can't think of one) is not part of the
      > > > > mission
      > > > > > > of any
      > > > > > > respectable museum. No curator would knowingly
      > > > > hang
      > > > > > > a copy of a work
      > > > > > > on a wall and label it the original. Even if
      > > > > > > Picasso took
      > > > > > > inspiration from fakes (and I don't think he did
      > > > > -
      > > > > > > he predates the
      > > > > > > mass production of fake African art), they'd
      > > > > still
      > > > > > > be fakes. His
      > > > > > > work is sufficiently stylized that fakes might
      > > > > very
      > > > > > > well have served
      > > > > > > the same purpose for him, but that's irrelevant
      > > > > to
      > > > > > > whether they were
      > > > > > > fake or not.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Steve Price
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, Mo Okdg
      > > > > > > <okdg@> wrote:
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Ladies and gentlemen, I know you'll kill me
      > > > > for
      > > > > > > saying
      > > > > > > > this, but it is important for someone to say
      > > > > it,
      > > > > > > so
      > > > > > > > Anon will say: let no one again call African
      > > > > art
      > > > > > > > objects fake. (Lee went so
      > > > > uncharacteristicall y
      > > > > > > silent
      > > > > > > > on the subject). Like Pablo Picasso who
      > > > > benefited
      > > > > > > > from their originality, African artists are
      > > > > bound
      > > > > > > but
      > > > > > > > not limited by tradition. Any other way of
      > > > > > > thinking
      > > > > > > > about this issue will only bring frustration,
      > > > > > > anger
      > > > > > > > and disappointment to collectors of African
      > > > > art.
      > > > > > > But,
      > > > > > > > can you say all sorts o things under the cover
      > > > > of
      > > > > > > > Anon.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Anon
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > --- ari birnbaum <a312@> wrote:
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > All,
      > > > > > > > > I agree with you all...
      > > > > > > > > But i think that someone should write all
      > > > > this
      > > > > > > to
      > > > > > > > > UCM's Library...
      > > > > > > > > And tell them that not every african
      > > > > collector
      > > > > > > know
      > > > > > > > > what is
      > > > > > > > > Authentic ...
      > > > > > > > > In the special issue of African Art about
      > > > > Fake
      > > > > > > and
      > > > > > > > > Authenticity i remember that someone wrote
      > > > > :
      > > > > > > > > The biggest problem in African Art is that
      > > > > after
      > > > > > > few
      > > > > > > > > month
      > > > > > > > > Everyone consider himself as an EXPERT.
      > > > > > > > > [something no one will dare in other fields]
      > > > >
      > > > > > > > > Regards,
      > > > > > > > > Ari
      > > > > > > > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > > > > > > > From: Paul De Lucco
      > > > > > > > > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
      > > > > > > > > Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2008 9:38 PM
      > > > > > > > > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Re: Extensive
      > > > > > > African
      > > > > > > > > art exhibit, 'Masquerade, ' on display at
      > > > > UCM's
      > > > > > > > > library until Feb. 28 | digitalBURG. com
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > Greetings:
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > The Hemba So'o mask with its costume, in
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > glass
      > > > > > > > > case, 4th photo down, is also stylistically
      > > > > > > correct.
      > > > > > > > > But, I have to agree with Mr. Estrampes.
      > > > > This
      > > > > > > > > collection is made up of very dubious
      > > > > pieces.
      > > > > > > This
      > > > > > > > > goes beyond the realm of our frequent group
      > > > > > > > > discussions as to what constitutes
      > > > > "authentic."
      > > > > > > The
      > > > > > > > > first mask in the first photo (a giant
      > > > > beetle?)
      > > > > > > and
      > > > > > > > > the so-called Tshokwe (with heads protruding
      > > > > > > left
      > > > > > > > > and right and a figure crouched on top) in
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > third
      > > > > > > > > photo are pure fantasy. Presumably, a
      > > > > catalogue
      > > > > > > > > will be printed and, down the line, the
      > > > > > > collectors
      > > > > > > > > will use the catalogue as proof of
      > > > > authenticity
      > > > > > > to
      > > > > > > > > sell the pieces through Sothebys. (I cannot
      > > > > see
      > > > > > > > > that Tshokwe passing even cursory review at
      > >

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