Yto Barrada’s video Faux départ (False Start), 2015an investigation of the artisanal production of fake fossilsserved as something like an establishing shot for her recent exhibition “The Sample Book.” The film follows the exacting methods used to fabricate historical specimens in a location somewhere “between the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara desert,” and considers why specific modes of labor have cropped up to meet the needs of particular capitalist markets. Though we do not witness a single transactionthe camera is closely focused on the physical strain and remarkable skill involved in manufacturing these curioswe can easily imagine the tourists whose desire for prehistoric souvenirs propels this trade. Barrada clearly appreciates the craftspeople’s dexterity in meeting the demands of the global travel industry; if the search for the exotic runs the
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