Corso: Could it be a forgery?
Pedro: A forgery? You heard that, Pablo?
Pablo: I took you for a professional, señor. You speak too lightly of forgeries.
Pedro: Far too lightly.
Pablo: Forging a book is expensive. Paper of the period, the right inks…. (makes a dismissive gesture) Too expensive to be profitable. [Ninth Gate]

In the Ninth Gate deals are made, allegiances and alliances are used and broken, and lives are forfeited all in the expectation that our protagonists will find and obtain the Keys to the Kingdom. Everything depends on finding the nefariously crafted originals, the correct, authentic keys to open the Nine Gates. What would one give? What would one do to find these keys? The stakes become dearer, the body count rises, and our hero sinks further into his desire to solve the mystery – leaving us in a quandary. Are we actually hoping for our protaganist to succeed in this devilish game? Even after finding the authentic things, the things that all seem to desire, what is it that lies in wait beyond the Ninth Gate?

I am very concerned with the process of thinking and the process of meaning; I am not really concerned with thought or with what things mean. Works of art, according to TS Elliot, are objective correlatives; they are things in the world that we use to correlate our opinions about. That’s not meant to discount the artist. It’s meant to free the artist, so they can do what they want, because they don’t know anyway. I know some grown up artists who know pretty well what they are doing. Ed Ruscha knows what he expects to get, so do Bridget Riley, Richard Serra, and Ellsworth Kelly. But these are people in their sixties and seventies. Anyone who is much younger than that, if they are any good, are still improvising. And then there are people, like Rauschenberg, who are 70 years old and are still improvising. Bob doesn’t have the faintest idea what he’s doing, but he is doing it every day. I am interested in that, I don’t like rules. I think art is for people who like art, who like to talk about physical things in the world. I don’t think there is any difference, say, between talking about the Lakers and talking about Terry Winters. Maybe that the Lakers are better, and you talk about them with different people. They are both occasions for discourse. [Dave Hickey]
Kim Kardashian Skims
Fundamentally, she believes the appeal of her business lies in her authenticity: that she admits to not being able to achieve her world-famous shape without the help of stretchy pants. Perhaps she learned from her younger sister—Kylie Jenner was famously mocked for her lip filler before launching her billion-­dollar lip kits—that Achilles’ heels, or in Kardashian’s case, Achilles’ heinies, are sometimes strengths. Of all the enterprises she has tried, she says, this one is the most her. “It’s just a part of me,” she says. “I take it really personally. It started off of my body and my shapes, and it’s very vulnerable.” [Belinda Luscombe on Kim Kardashian]
Orson Welles F for Fake 1973
PLAYBOY: What effect do you feel the advertising industry is having on artists—on writers as well as painters and designers?
ORSON WELLES: The advertisers are having a disastrous effect on every art they touch. They are not only seducing the artist, they are drafting him. They are not only drawing on him, they are sucking the soul out of him. And the artist has gone over to the advertiser far more than he ever did to the merchant. The classic enemy of art has always been the marketplace. There you find the merchant and the charlatan—the man with goods to sell and the man with the snake oil. In the old days you had merchant princes, ex-pushcart peddlers turned into Hollywood moguls, but by and large honest salesmen, trying to give the public what they believed was good—even if it wasn’t—and not seriously invading the artist’s life unless the artist was willing to make that concession. But now we’re in the hands of the snake-oil boys. Among the advertisers, you find artists who have betrayed their kind and are busy getting their brethren hooked on the same drug. The advertising profession is largely made up of unfrocked poets, disappointed novelists, frustrated actors and unsuccessful producers with split-level homes. They’ve somehow managed to pervade the whole universe of art, so that the artist himself now thinks and functions as an advertising man. He makes expendable objects, deals in the immediate gut kick, revels in the lack of true content. [Playboy interview with Orson Welles]

Corso : My client wishes to satisfy himself of the book’s authenticity.
Pedro: All books have a destiny of their own.
Pablo: Even a life of their own. Señor Balkan is a noted bibliophile. He’s no fool. He must know this book is authentic.
Pedro: We know it.
Pablo: So must he.

Damien Hirst Instagram
“At the time, nobody challenged the authenticity of this process or the art it produced. These days, in an age that no longer believes anything and can synthesise everything, we yearn for authenticity but struggle to define or recognise it. Hirst has always demonstrated that art is about ideas as well as aesthetics; that art is fabrication, a lie that by provoking us to think may bring us closer to the truth. Even so, for a while he confined himself to painting in a small studio in his garden, telling the BBC in 2009 that he would no longer undertake the large-scale installations that require teams to build.” [Catherine Mayer on Damien Hirst
Unscrupulous Thoroughly Unscrupulous GIF - Unscrupulous Thoroughly Unscrupulous Ninth Gate GIFs

Failed acolytes are sent on their way to damnation. And like the tormented figures in a Bosch painting they all die in interesting and telling ways. The thought is that only one is worthy. Only one will find the real keys. Only one will walk upright and alive, burnished by the trials of desire and fire into the Kingdom – at least according to the gate keepers who continue to sell this idea. But like all authentic things the Ninth Gate remains elusive. Even if one survives the path and gathers the keys, the thing remains hidden, unrevealed. It requires something… more. After Corso’s convoluted path to understanding he finds that the final key was a fake all along. He must embark on one last trip back to the beginning…

Boris Balkan: To travel in silence. By a long and circuitous route. To brave the arrows of misfortune and fear neither noose nor fire. To play the greatest of all games and win, foregoing no expense is to mock the vicissitudes of Fate and gain, at last, the key that will unlock the Ninth Gate.

“Even Hell has its heroes, Señor.”

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