Med Orson Welles F for Fake undersøger vi, hvordan æstetisk kvalitet vil kunne indløses som kunstnerisk værdi. Hvis spørgsmålet er Elmyr de Hory, er svaret, at det koster intention og identitet. Orson Welles’ last film, F for Fake from 1973, not only doubles several figures from Clifford Irving’s biography of the forger Elmyr de Hory, the character ‘Orson Welles’ doubles the character ‘Elmyr de Hory’ as well in their common denominator as charlatans> Orson as a non-filming movie-maker, Elmyr as a non-artist painter and draughtsman. Whereas this for Orson was an intentional ambition in his film-making, it seems for Elmyr to have been an unintentional involutarism. As most artists, Elmyr strived for recognition of his own works under his own name. The problem was, however, that he did not have any real identity. With regard to quality, Hory could not really see the difference between a Modigliani portrait painted by Modigliani in 1910’s and another Modigliani portrait by Elmyr. This indifference towards the logic of artistic fame, established by different avantgardes, Hory probably had in common with all our lesser known artists, who thought that aesthetical qualities could be exchanged to artistic value. Elmyr’s paradoxical success – starting with Clifford Irving’s biography and Orson Welles’ film – illuminates a strategy for traditional or mediocre artists, to test artistic value, with a type of retrogardian chock-effect: reciprocal plagiarism.