Copy cat: New exhibition studies fake goods

03 : 03 : 2011 Open Culture : Revolutionary Culture : Paris

Paris – Shanzhai Anxiety, a new collaborative exhibition between conceptual artist Item Idem and Dis Magazine, opens at lifestyle concept store Colette in Paris on 4 March.

Counterfeit Nike Obama trainers, Shanzai Anxiety by Dis Magazine and Item Idem, photography by Marco Roso Counterfeit Nike Obama trainers, Shanzai Anxiety by Dis Magazine and Item Idem, photography by Marco Roso
Sarah Palin campaign sticker, Donald Trump ice water, Shanzai Anxiety by Dis Magazine and Item Idem, photography by Marco Roso Sarah Palin campaign sticker, Donald Trump ice water, Shanzai Anxiety by Dis Magazine and Item Idem, photography by Marco Roso
Mao Zedong Piggy Bank, McDonald's logo necklace, RAF Simmons fashion show backstage pass, Shanzai Anxiety by Dis Magazine and Item Idem, photography by Marco Roso Mao Zedong Piggy Bank, McDonald's logo necklace, RAF Simmons fashion show backstage pass, Shanzai Anxiety by Dis Magazine and Item Idem, photography by Marco Roso
Counterfeit Nike Obama trainers, Shanzai Anxiety by Dis Magazine and Item Idem, photography by Marco Roso Counterfeit Nike Obama trainers, Shanzai Anxiety by Dis Magazine and Item Idem, photography by Marco Roso

Photographer Marco Roso has documented Item Idem’s personal collection of counterfeit and imitation goods, and an accompanying essay by Victoria Camblin explains the artist’s fascination.

‘Like status anxiety itself, authentic desirables are the cultural products – regardless of where they are manufactured – of a more or less Western, ‘free’ consumer society,’ writes Camblin. ‘Fake objects that imitate them, meanwhile, are by and large devised in social contexts that do not necessarily fall under the jurisdiction of the democratic.’

Brands are increasingly realising that what used to be considered copyright theft, is now emerging as a useful resource for product innovation.

For more information, look out for LS:N Global’s forthcoming Anarconomy Decade report, as part of the Spring Trend Briefing.

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