I noticed a still of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones on a wall.

Incongruous, I thought.

According to the label. “ In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), the table in the Holy Grail cave is weighted down with electrotypes of silver from Oxford and Cambridge colleges, including a basin identical to this one (right). For the film industry, copies offer authenticity.”

“Copies offer authenticity” is an enticingly paradoxical statement.

It reminds me of Herminia Ibarria’s piece “The Paradox of Authenticity”, a rejoinder to the popular idea of the Authentic Leader. She suggests that a leader can be too authentic – rigidly true to oneself. And when they try to be more flexible it can come across as disingenuous – “not them”.
No person is perfect – we are constructed with great potential as well as negativity. So true authenticity will have light and shade. The most authentic leader currently must be Donald Trump. There is no artifice with him, no pretending to be anything other than himself. He may lie or dissemble, but is still true to himself.

The film reference should give us pause for reflection. Film is a work of artifice, actors, and sets portraying reality. So copies of artworks offer authenticity to artifice. We are dealing with meta-levels of reality and truth.

If we dig too deep we shall come to question everything.