This calm, painstaking visual essay explores how where copies and originals in an experimental film pregnant with ideas Artist and film-maker Jessica Sarah Rinland has authored a brief essay movie on the universal themes of the copy and the original. A copyist reproduces an original work of art, a museum conservator fabricates a damaged object with replacement materials. But the originals are arguably copies of ideas and genres within the artist’s mind, and the biological act of reproduction is an act of copying, from the DNA template. Rinland’s camera observes calmly, almost blankly, as the introduction of howler monkeys into the wild is discussed by zoologists – a habitat where they might breed – and this issue is juxtaposed with restoration work at the V&A, the Natural History Museum and the British Museum in London. An elephant tusk is copied as a plaster cast; confiscated tusks are used to restore a 19th-century ivory box, antiquities are painstakingly brought back to a version of their fundamental selves.
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