Transcript: Forgery, Morrisseau, and Indigenous Art | Jan 30, 2020

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and spotted gray tie.

A caption on screen reads "Forgery, Morrisseau and Indigenous Art. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says THERE'S LITTLE DEBATE OVER WHETHER NORVAL MORRISSEAU RANKS AMONG THE MOST ICONIC AND INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF HIS ERA. AFTER ALL, HE WAS CALLED THE PICASSO OF NORTHERN ONTARIO. WHAT THERE IS SOME DEBATE ABOUT, HOWEVER, IS THE AUTHENTICITY OF SOME OF THE WORKS THAT BEAR HIS NAME. THAT'S JUST PART OF A FASCINATING STORY LAID OUT IN THE TVO ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY, "THERE ARE NO FAKES," WHICH HAS ITS WORLD BROADCAST PREMIERE RIGHT HERE ON SATURDAY NIGHT. WITH US NOW FOR MORE: JAMIE KASTNER, THE FILMMAKER WHO CREATED THE DOC, "THERE ARE NO FAKES."

Jamie is in his late thirties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing glasses, a black jacket and a gray t-shirt.

Steve continues AND IN OUR STUDIO AT CARLETON UNIVERSITY IN OTTAWA: CARMEN ROBERTSON, AUTHOR OF "MYTHOLOGIZING NORVAL MORRISSEAU." SHE'S A PROFESSOR AT THE SCHOOL OF INDIGENOUS AND CANADIAN STUDIES AT CARLETON.

Carmen is in her forties, with long curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses, a mustard yellow sweater and pendant earrings.
A picture of her book appears briefly on screen. The cover is yellow, with a black and white picture of Morrisseau surrounded by a large white silhouette.

Steve continues AND WE'RE HAPPY TO HAVE BOTH OF YOU HERE ON OUR PROGRAM TONIGHT FOR WHAT IS A REALLY... I SAW THE DOCUMENTARY. IT'S TERRIFIC. CONGRATULATIONS, JAMIE.

Jamie says THANK YOU.

Steve says AND CARMEN, YOU'RE IN IT, SO WELCOME YOU TO THE PROGRAM AS WELL.

Carmen says THANK YOU.

Steve says I WANT TO KNOW OFF THE TOP, HOW DID YOU BECOME AWARE, JAMIE, OF THIS NORTHERN ONTARIO ARTIST WHO SUDDENLY SORT OF FINDS HIMSELF POSTHUMOUSLY, ADMITTEDLY, IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS FORGERY SCANDAL?

The caption changes to "Jamie Kastner. Filmmaker, 'There are no fakes.'"
Then, it changes again to "Fame and fakery."

Jamie says I WAS... I WOULD NEVER CHARACTERIZE MYSELF AS AN EXPERT IN ANYTHING, AS A MATTER OF FACT. THANKS FOR ASKING. I WAS AWARE OF MORRISSEAU GROWING UP IN TORONTO AND AS AN ICONIC FIGURE AND AWARE OF THE SCHOOL OF ART WHICH HE FOUNDED, THE WOODLANDS SCHOOL, AND THAT STYLE. BUT... AND I KNEW HE HAD HAD A KIND OF ROCKY BIOGRAPHY. THAT'S AS MUCH AS I KNEW KIND OF BEFORE COMING TO THIS STORY. THE WAY I CAME TO THIS STORY WAS COMPLETELY AT RANDOM. I CONTACTED AN OLD HIGH SCHOOL BUDDY, KEVIN HEARN, OF THE BARE NAKED LADIES, WHO ALSO PLAYED WITH LOU REID. I CONTACTED KEVIN AFTER LOU REID DIED A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO ABOUT POSSIBLY DOING A LOU REID-RELATED PROJECT. HE SAID... IT WASN'T IN THE CARDS AT THAT TIME, AND HE SAID BUT I'M INVOLVED IN THIS COURT CASE THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST TO YOU. HE TOLD ME THIS UNBELIEVABLE STORY, WHICH IS BASICALLY THE SKELETON... BECAME THE SKELETON OF THIS FILM...

A picture shows an older man standing inside a room with large paintings hanging on the walls, pensively examining a large canvas with a green and black painting.

Steve says HE PURCHASED WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS A MORRISSEAU.

Jamie says THAT'S RIGHT. IT STARTED WITH HIM BUYING A PAINTING WHICH HE BELIEVED TO BE A MORRISSEAU, BEGINNING TO HAVE DOUBTS ABOUT ITS AUTHENTICITY, SUING THE YORKVILLE GALLERY THAT SOLD IT TO HIM, AND IN THE SHORT ORDER HE FOUND HIMSELF IN THE MIDDLE OF A CRAZY FEUD OF PEOPLE WHO WERE BEHAVING IN, LET'S SAY, A HIGHLY UNART WORLD-LIKE FASHION, AT LEAST TO OUTSIDERS. THEY WERE SLUGGING EACH OTHER OFF ON-LINE AND IN PERSON, CHARACTERIZING ONE ANOTHER AS NASTY.

Steve says THE CHARACTERS IN YOUR DOCUMENTARY ARE TRULY... I MEAN, THEY ARE FROM CENTRAL CASTING. CRAZY.

Jamie says PEOPLE OFTEN... AND I TAKE IT AS A COMPLIMENT, YOU KNOW, IN THE EARLY SORT OF THEATRICAL AND FESTIVAL RUNS OF THIS FILM HAVE SAID I DON'T BELIEVE THESE AREN'T ACTORS. YOU KNOW, THEY'RE PUTTING EACH OTHER IN HEADLOCKS ON COURTROOM STEPS, THROWING ROCKS THROUGH GALLERY WINDOWS, AND IT'S TWO FACTIONS OF LARGELY WHITE PEOPLE FOR THE MOST PART WHO ARE AT DAGGERS DRAWN EACH CLAIMING TO BE THE TRUE HEIRS OF... OR THE GUARDIANS OF THIS ICONIC INDIGENOUS ARTIST'S LEGACY.

Steve says LET'S SHOW A CLIP FROM YOUR DOC, OKAY? OKAY, SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD, THE CLIP.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "There are no fakes."

In the clip, a man sits in a gallery room and speaks.

A caption reads "Bryant Ross. Coghlan Arg."

Bryant, in his late fifties, with a white goatee, says
IT WAS THE FIRST FIRST NATIONS ARTIST TO GET HIS WORK OUT OF THE GIFT SHOPS AND INTO THE GALLERIES.

A clip shows a polyptych made of four panels, depicting a colourful scene with animals and humans.

In grainy footage, Morrisseau says WOULD THE PEOPLE WHO ARE RECEPTIVE TO IT IMMEDIATELY THEY SAY, WOW. FAR OUT.

A man in his forties says OH, WELL, YOU KNOW.

A caption reads "Mark Anthony Jacobson."

Mark is in his forties and wears a hat and a black hoodie.

Speaking in an Indigenous Language, Mark says
CORPORATE THUNDERBIRD, GRANDFATHER. HE'S THE FOUNDER, MAN. HE'S THE GODFATHER OF WHAT WE DO, MAN.

In a clip, Morrisseau says FIRST YOU DRIVE ME DOWN TO THE PITS OF THE BOTTOM OF HELL BY YOUR MISSIONARIES, AND THEN LATER ON YOU WILL LIFT ME UP WITH MEDALS.

The clip ends.

The caption changes to "'There are no fakes.' Saturday 9 PM. Also streaming at tvo.org/documentaries."

Steve says SATURDAY NIGHT IS THE WHOLE DOCUMENTARY. "THERE ARE NO FAKES." WE'LL GET TO THE EXPLANATION BEHIND THE TITLE OF THE DOCUMENTARY A LITTLE LATER. CARMEN, HOW IMPORTANT IS MORRISSEAU IN THE CANADIAN ART WORLD, FROM YOUR VANTAGE POINT?

The caption changes to "Carmen Robertson. Carleton University."

A colour picture shows Morrisseau painting with a worried expression.

Carmen says HE'S REALLY ONE OF THE LEADERS IN CANADIAN ART, ALTHOUGH HE HAS NOT BEEN CHARACTERIZED THAT WAY, ALTHOUGH I STILL THINK EVEN BEYOND THE CANADIAN BORDERS HE'S ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING FIGURES IN INTERNATIONAL ART HISTORY. HE DEFINITELY DESERVES A PLACE IN THE CANONS, BUT HE HAS NOT BEEN AFFORDED THAT UNTIL RECENTLY, AND WE'RE WORKING TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

Steve says LET ME DO A FOLLOW UP WITH YOU, CARMEN. YOU'RE NOT ONLY IN THE DOCUMENTARY BUT YOU ACTUALLY HAVE A... YOU KIND OF GOT A PIECE OF THIS DRAMA AS WELL, RIGHT? DO YOU WANT TO EXPLAIN THAT?

The caption changes to "Carmen Robertson. Author, 'Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau.'"

Carmen says WELL, I WAS THE EXPERT WITNESS IN THE COURT CASE, AND SO THAT DREW ME INTO SOMETHING THAT WAS NOT REALLY THE AREA THAT I USUALLY FIND MYSELF IN. MOSTLY I CONCERN MYSELF WITH RESEARCHING INDIGENOUS ART HISTORY, AND SO IT WAS AN UNUSUAL POSITION TO BE IN.

Steve says UNUSUAL, AND YOU'VE HEARD JAMIE DESCRIBE SOME OF THE CHARACTERS THAT ARE INVOLVED IN ALL THIS. AS YOU GOT DEEPER INTO IT, WHAT'D YOU THINK?

Carmen says I REALLY... I COULDN'T QUITE BELIEVE WHAT WAS HAPPENING, AND I HAVE TO AGREE THAT THE CHARACTERS DO SEEM LIKE STOCK ACTORS OUT OF CENTRAL CASTING. AND IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE... I FIRST SAW THE DOCUMENTARY WHEN IT WAS PREMIERED AT HOT DOCS LAST YEAR, AND I REALLY HAD NO IDEA THE FULL EXTENT OF THE STORY, SO IT IS A STORY WELL TOLD, BUT A VERY DISTURBING ONE FOR SURE.

Steve says JAMIE, WHEN YOU TALKED TO KEVIN HEARN AND HE TOLD YOU I BOUGHT WHAT I THOUGHT WAS A MORRISSEAU, NOW I'M PRETTY SURE IT'S NOT A MORRISSEAU, AND HE THEN CONFRONTED THE GALLERY OWNER WHO SOLD IT TO HIM, WHAT DID THE GALLERY OWNER SAY TO HIM?

The caption changes to "Jamie Kastner, @jamiemkastner."

Jamie says THE GALLERY OWNER SAID ESSENTIALLY IF I ADMIT TO YOU THAT THIS IS FAKE, THAT WILL START A CHAIN OF EVENTS THAT WILL END IN THE CLOSING OF MY GALLERY. AND WHEN KEVIN... KEVIN FOUND OUT OR BEGAN TO HAVE DOUBTS ABOUT THE AUTHENTICITY BECAUSE HE WAS INVITED TO GUEST CURATE AN EXHIBITION, KEVIN WAS, AT THE AGO, AND THE HEAD CANADIAN CURATOR AT THE TIME, GERALD McMASTER, RAISED SOME RED FLAGS ABOUT THE AUTHENTICITY OF THIS PAINTING, SO IT WAS COMING FROM FAIRLY HIGH AUTHORITY, KEVIN BROUGHT THIS TO JOAN McLEOD, THE OWNER OF THE GALLERY WHO HAD SOLD IT TO HIM, AND KEVIN IS A VERY OPEN WELL-MEANING GUY, TRULY, AND HE SAID, WELL, WHY DON'T WE, JOE, GET TO THE TRUTH OF THIS. LET'S WORK TOGETHER AND TRY TO GET TO THE TRUTH OF THIS, AND JOE SAID, NO, GET OUT OF MY GALLERY, AND I WANT YOU TO JOIN ME IN SUING THE AGO FOR MAKING THESE CLAIMS.

Steve says THIS IS... I MEAN, WELL, I DON'T WANT TO READ TOO MUCH BETWEEN THE LINES, BUT IT'S TANTAMOUNT TO ACKNOWLEDGING THAT YOUR FRIEND BOUGHT A FAKE PAINTING.

Jamie says THE WAY HE PHRASED IT WAS... I MEAN, I'M PARAPHRASING HERE, BUT KEVIN HAS SAID THAT MCLEOD SAID IF I ENGAGE IN THIS DISCUSSION WITH YOU, IT'S LIKE THAT, THAT EXCHANGE ABOUT WHEN DID YOU STOP BEATING... IT'S LIKE YOU'RE ASKING ME, KEVIN, HE SAID IT'S LIKE YOU'RE ASKING ME WHEN DID I STOP BEATING MY WIFE. DAMNED IF HE DOES, DAMNED IF HE DOESN'T. SO YES, IT... IN ESSENCE, IT DID, BUT THAT DIDN'T HELP KEVIN FROM A LEGAL POINT OF VIEW, UNFORTUNATELY.

Steve says THE TITLE OF YOUR DOCUMENTARY IS "THERE ARE NO FAKES." I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY THERE ARE FAKES SO...

Jamie says WHAT? I HAVE TO CHANGE THE TITLE?

Steve says YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THAT, BUT YOU DO HAVE TO EXPLAIN WHERE THAT LINE THERE ARE NO FAKES CAME FROM.

Jamie says AS I MENTIONED, KEVIN IN THE SORT OF FIRST COUPLE OF ACTS OF THE FILM FINDS HIMSELF DRAGGED INTO THIS CRAZY FEUD IN WHICH... BETWEEN THESE TWO FACTIONS, ONE OF WHICH IS SAYING THAT THESE PAINTINGS ARE FAKE, AND WE'RE TALKING, BY THE WAY, ABOUT A SPECIES OF PAINTINGS OF WHICH KEVIN'S IS REPRESENTATIVE. AND WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SOME 3,000 PAINTINGS OF THIS SPECIES WORTH CONSERVATIVELY ABOUT $30 MILLION, WHICH GIVES YOU AN IDEA OF MAKING THIS BOTH POTENTIALLY THE LARGEST ART FRAUD SCAM IN CANADIAN HISTORY AND GIVES YOU AN IDEA OF WHY PEOPLE ARE SO PASSIONATE ABOUT THIS. THE ONE SIDE ARE SAYING THAT THESE PAINTINGS ARE REAL, OBVIOUSLY THIS IS THE SIDE THAT IS DEEPLY INVESTED IN THIS STYLE OF PAINTING. AND THE OTHERS ARE SAYING THAT IT'S NOT. AND THAT SIDE HAS NOTHING OBVIOUS TO GAIN BY THAT CLAIM, I'LL ADD. ANYWAY, I ANSWERED SOME QUESTION. I'M NOT SURE IF IT WAS YOURS.

[Laughter]

Steve says YOU HAVEN'T CHANGED AT ALL FROM THE DAYS WHEN YOU USED TO HOST A SHOW HERE. YOU WERE KIND OF QUIRKY AND ICONIC BACK THEN, AND YOU STILL ARE.

Jamie says THANK YOU.

Steve says CARMEN, BEFORE THIS INTERVIEW COMPLETELY GETS AWAY FROM ME, LET ME GET YOU BACK IN HERE. DID YOU EVER MEET NORVAL MORRISSEAU?

The caption changes to "Copper Thunderbird."

Carmen says I ONLY MET HIM ONCE AT THE END OF HIS LIFE WHEN HE WAS SUFFERING FROM PARKINSON'S, SO I HAVE TO SAY THAT I KNOW HIM BEST THROUGH HIS ART. SADLY, THERE ARE SO MANY AMAZING STORIES OUT THERE ABOUT WHAT A CHARACTER HE IS, BUT HIS ART AS WELL IS A REAL LIVING CHARACTER, AND THAT'S HOW I KNOW HIM BEST.

Steve says WE DID GET A HINT IN THE CLIP THAT WE JUST SAW EARLIER IN OUR DISCUSSION HERE, SOME OF THE... YOU KNOW, THE ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE OF NORVAL, I MEAN, HE WAS TROUBLED, RIGHT? HE HAD A LOT OF THINGS GOING ON IN HIS LIFE THAT WERE VERY PROBLEMATIC. CAN YOU SHED SOME LIGHT ON SOME OF THAT FOR US?

The caption changes to "Carmen Robertson, @Carleton_U."

Another colour picture appears in which Morrisseau paints wearing a pensive and worried expression.

Carmen says WELL, ABSOLUTELY. IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE ANISHINAABE ARTISTS LIVING IN NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO DEALT WITH THE TRAUMATIC EVENTS OF HAVING TO ATTEND INDIAN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL, AND THOSE TRAUMAS ARE TRIGGERING IN COMMUNITIES AROUND CANADA, AND HE DEFINITELY FELT THE WEIGHT OF THAT, AND IT WAS A DIFFICULT ROAD FOR HIM TO NEGOTIATE, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, HE'S AN ARTISTIC GENIUS.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says Jamie GAVE US AN INDICATION OF HOW MUCH HIS GENUINE WORK IS WORTH, SO I'VE GOT TO ASK YOU, WHEN HE DIED IN 2007, WAS HE A FINANCIALLY WELL OFF MAN?

Carmen says NO, HE WASN'T REALLY, BUT I HAVE TO SAY THAT MY FOCUS IS REALLY NOT ON THE FINANCIAL ASPECT OF HIS WORK. I SEE HIS WORK AS PRICELESS. IT'S CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT, BUT PRICES REALLY ARE NOT OF INTEREST TO ME AS AN ART HISTORIAN.

Steve says I MEAN, WOULD IT BE...

Jamie says I MEAN, WOULD IT BE WORTH ALSO OBSERVING, WE'VE DISCUSSED IN THE INTERVIEW AND ELSEWHERE, HE SEEMS LIKE SUCH A REMARKABLE PERSON, AND HE WAS A ROCK STAR, YOU KNOW? HE CAME FROM DIRT POVERTY AND THEN SUDDENLY BECAME A STAR AND HAD ALL THIS ACCLAIM HEAPED ON HIM, JUSTIFIABLY SO, IN THE EARLY '60S, AND HE WAS MAKING MONEY. AND THEN MY SENSE, AND CARMEN WILL CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG, BUT... OF COURSE I LEARNED IT MAINLY FROM HER.

Carmen says THANK YOU.

Jamie says IS THAT HIS LIFE WAS UP AND DOWN AS HE KIND OF INDULGED IN THE TYPE OF EXCESSES THAT MANY ROCK STARS DO, YOU KNOW? AND SO MY SENSE IS THAT IN THE LAST 20 YEARS HE HAD BEEN UP, HE HAD BEEN DOWN, THERE WERE ACCOUNTS OF HIM LIVING ON THE STREET IN VANCOUVER, EVEN AFTER HE HAD, YOU KNOW, SHOWN IN THE... IN MAJOR GALLERIES AROUND THE WORLD. AND MY SENSE IS THAT IN THE LAST 20 YEARS OF HIS LIFE HE HAD... THINGS HAD KIND OF CLEANED UP AND HE HAD FOUND SOME STABILITY IN B.C., AND HE WAS IN THE PROCESS OF REBUILDING THE WORTH OF HIS WORK FINANCIALLY, AND HE WAS DOING OKAY. I WOULDN'T SAY HE WAS, YOU KNOW, LIVING HIGH OFF THE HOG, BUT HE WAS IN A RELATIVELY STABLE PLACE.

Steve says AND HE DIED IN 2007, WHAT WAS HE, 70, 75, SOMETHING LIKE THAT?

Jamie says YEAH.

Steve says IN THAT BALLPARK. OKAY, CARMEN, WE'RE GOING TO BRING SOME IMAGES OF HIS WORK UP, ANDROJNY, WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THAT FOR US?

A picture shows a large painting in bright hues of red, yellow and blue, depicting a scene in which people approach a rising bird, surrounded by nature.

Carmen says I THINK IT'S ONE OF HIS ABSOLUTE MASTER WORKS AND REALLY ONE OF MY FAVOURITES. YOU CAN SEE IT'S A REALLY LARGE PIECE. IT'S MURAL-LIKE, 6 METRES LONG, AND IT IS FANTASTIC. BUT IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR CANADIANS TO UNDERSTAND THAT MORRISSEAU PAINTED THIS WORK IN 1983 THINKING ABOUT GENDER FLUIDITY, THINKING MOSTLY ABOUT INTERCONNECTEDNESS OF ALL LIVING BEINGS, UNDERWORLD, OUR WORLD, SKY WORLD. THERE'S AN ELECTRICITY ABOUT IT, AND HE GIFTED THIS WORK IN A RECIPROCAL OFFERING TO THE CANADIAN PEOPLE. SO IN 1983 HE SENT A LETTER TO THEN-PRIME MINISTER PIERRE ELLIOTT TRUDEAU AND INVITED HIM TO ACCEPT THIS PAINTING ON BEHALF OF ALL CANADIANS, THAT THIS WOULD BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO OPEN A DIALOGUE ON RECONCILIATION AT THAT TIME IN '83, BUT SADLY IT LANGUISHED IN... ON THE WALLS AT WHAT WAS THEN INAC, THE INDIAN NORTHERN AFFAIRS BUILDING IN GATINEAU, AND IT WASN'T UNTIL 2006, FOR HIS RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY, THAT PEOPLE RE-DISCOVERED IT AND REALIZED THAT A MASTERPIECE THIS REALLY IS.

Steve says AND WHERE IS THE PAINTING TODAY?

Carmen says RIGHT NOW IT'S ON DISPLAY AT THE WINNIPEG ART GALLERY. IT IS PART OF THE COLLECTION OF THE INDIGENOUS ART CENTRE AT WHAT IS TODAY SURNAC, BUT IT HAS HAUNG HUNG... AFTER THE HAVLING RETROSPECTIVE ENDED, IT WAS AT RIDEAU HALL, AND NOW IT'S TRAVELLING AND SPENDING TWO YEARS IN WINNIPEG, WHICH IS GREAT, BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE IN THE WINNIPEG, KENORA, NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO AREA, HAVE NO ACCESS TO SEEING THIS WORK UNTIL NOW.

Steve says HMM. JAMIE, I HOPE THIS DOESN'T SOUND TOO PRUMPTUOUS, BUT BY THE TIME I FINISHED WATCHING YOUR DOCUMENTARY, I THOUGHT I COULD PRETTY WELL TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GENUINE MORRISSEAU AND A FAKE. COULD YOU?

The caption changes to "A market of fakes."

Jamie says I HAD NO CLUE. I WAS FAR FROM AN EXPERT, BUT I THINK WHEN I CAME INTO THIS, BUT I THINK AS A NUMBER OF PEOPLE FAR MORE EXPERT THAN I IN THE FILM EXPLAIN, YOU KNOW, FIRST OF ALL THE... THE QUESTIONABLE SPECIES OF PAINTING IS FAIRLY EASILY MARKED. YOU DON'T NEED A PHD TO UNDERSTAND. MOST OF HIS PAINTINGS WERE SIGNED ON THE FRONT IN A SERIES OF CREE SYLLABICS.

Steve says NOT ENGLISH.

Jamie says NOT ENGLISH.

Steve says ALWAYS IN CREE.

Jamie says AND THEN THERE'S A SPECIES OF PAINTINGS THAT ARE SIGNED ON THE BACK IN ENGLISH IN WHAT'S CALLED BLACK DRY BRUSH, WHICH IS LIKE BLACK PAINT ON A...

A picture shows a signature in black paint on white canvas that reads "Norval Morrisseay, Wheel of Life, 79."
Another picture shows a woman with curly hair holding that canvas.

Steve says LOOKING AT IT RIGHT NOW.

Jamie says AS THOUGH THAT'S THE LAST BIT OF PAINT ON THE BRUSH AND HE'S SIGNING HIS NAME WITH IT. THAT IS THE NUMBER ONE SIGN THAT, YOU KNOW, THERE'S HUGE DEBATE ABOUT WHETHER HE EVER DID THAT, AND MANY PEOPLE FAMILIAR WITH HIM, FAMILIAR WITH HIS WORK, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, NONE OF THE PAINTINGS IN MAJOR GALLERIES AND ESTABLISHED KIND OF VERIFIABLE COLLECTIONS AROUND THE COUNTRY HAVE THIS SIGNATURE ON IT. BUT THERE ARE OTHER SIGNS AS WELL. REALLY THIS IS... SHOULD BE A QUESTION FOR CARMEN, BUT ANYWAY, YOU CAN... YOU KNOW ONCE I START TALKING I CAN'T STOP.

Steve says GO AHEAD, JAMIE.

A colour picture shows details of a painting in which a human figure appears to be made of animals and other creatures.

Jamie says SO IT'S HIS COLOUR CHOICES, THE TYPES OF FIGURES THAT HE CHOOSES TO REPRESENT, A KIND OF SEQUENCE IN WHICH HE IS TYPICALLY KNOWN TO HAVE PAINTED, YOU KNOW. HE'S FAMOUS FOR THESE THICK BLACK LINES AND TYPICALLY, YOU KNOW, THOSE KNOWLEDGEABLE SAY THAT THOSE WERE APPLIED LAST WHEREAS THERE'S EVIDENCE IN SOME OF THESE DUBIOUS PAINTINGS THAT, IN FACT, THOSE, APPLIED FIRST, AND THEN HE PAINTED BY NUMBERS, AS IT WERE, WITHIN THAT. SO ONCE YOU START LOOKING AT THEM, YEAH, YOU DO... YOU CAN SEE THE DIFFERENCE, LET'S NOT SAY WHAT'S REAL AND WHAT'S FAKE. AND TO RESPOND TO YOUR QUESTION OF TEN MINUTES AGO, THE TITLE, THERE ARE NO FAKES," I MENTIONED THERE ARE TWO, YOU KNOW, FACTIONS THAT DAGGERS DRAWN OVER THIS ISSUE. THE TITLE COMES FROM A REFRAIN WHICH ONE OF THESE FACTIONS SAID TO ME OVER AND OVER AGAIN IN INTERVIEWS, IN COURT TRANSCRIPTS AND BEYOND, THERE ARE NO FAKES, THERE ARE NO FAKES, THERE ARE NO FAKES. WELL, I GUESS IF THEY SAID IT THAT MUCH, IT MUST BE TRUE.

Steve says I HAD CONFIDENCE THAT IF I JUST WAITED LONG ENOUGH YOU'D EVENTUALLY COME BACK AROUND AND ANSWER THAT QUESTION.

Jamie says AND HERE WE BE.

Steve says CARMEN, TELL ME THIS. HOW HAS THIS WHOLE SCANDAL AROUND WHAT'S GENUINE AND WHAT'S FAKE, IN YOUR JUDGMENT, AFFECTED MORRISSEAU'S LEGACY?

Carmen says WELL, THE REAL NEGATIVE, IN MY OPINION, IS THAT IT HAS MADE IT VERY DIFFICULT TO STUDY NORVAL MORRISSEAU'S MOVE, TO PUBLISH WORK ON IT BECAUSE OF ONGOING LITIGATION. PEOPLE ARE WARY OF STEPPING INTO COLLECTING MORRISSEAU WORKS, EVEN PEOPLE WHO LOVE HIS WORK, BECAUSE THEY ARE WORRIED THAT THEY MAY FALL INTO THE TRAP OF BUYING SOMETHING THAT IS FAKE, SO THAT HAS REALLY SLOWED THINGS DOWN, AND IT'S THE REASON WHY WE'RE NOW LEADING A COMPREHENSIVE STUDY ON HIS WORK AND LIFE FROM 1955 TO '85 HERE AT CARLETON AS A WAY TO TRY AND GET THAT DEEP, DEEP RESEARCH DONE.

Steve says AND I... YOU KNOW, LET'S PUT IT... NOT TO PUT TOO FINE A POINT ON IT, BUT HOW MUCH DOES A REAL MORRISSEAU GO FOR? I KNOW YOU DON'T LIKE TALKING FINANCES, BUT WHAT DOES IT GO FOR?

Carmen says YOU KNOW, IT REALLY DEPENDS ON WHAT WORK HE'S DOING. BECAUSE AS I SAID, HE DID MASTER WORKS. HE DID MANY INCREDIBLE WORKS, BUT HE ALSO DID WORKS THAT HE WAS USING IN GIFTING, SAY, FOR BARTERING, AND THOSE ARE WORTH A LOT LESS. BUT FOR HIS TOP WORKS, IF YOU COULD FIND ONE, AND THEY'RE NOT EASY TO FIND ON THE MARKET, THEY ARE IN THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.

Steve says AND A FAKE?

Carmen says I REALLY HAVE NO IDEA. I THINK THEY'RE QUITE EXPENSIVE AS WELL.

Jamie says I WAS OFFERED DURING THE SHOOTING OF THIS FILM BY ONE OF THE DEALERS DEFENDING THE BLACK DRY BRUSH PAINTING, HE HAD SOME FOR SALE FOR 6,000, BUT HE WAS PREPARED TO GIVE IT TO ME FOR 1500. SO YOU KNOW, WITH THE RIGHT CONNECTIONS, YOU CAN ACTUALLY DO QUITE WELL. OF COURSE IT'S WORTH NOTHING, BUT...

Steve says RIGHT. BUT THERE ARE NO FAKES. WE KNOW THAT.

Jamie says I MEAN, ASSUMING THAT'S TRUE, YEAH.

Steve says I DON'T WANT TO GIVE AWAY TOO MUCH BECAUSE WE WANT PEOPLE TO WATCH THIS DOCUMENTARY, BUT IT DOES TAKE MIDWAY THROUGH YOUR DOCUMENTARY IT DOES TAKE A TURN.

Jamie says YEAH.

The caption changes to "Exploited."

Steve says AND WE DISCOVER THAT THERE'S A MUCH DEEPER STORY AND A MUCH MORE TROUBLING PROBLEMATIC STORY THAN THE ONE THAT YOU INITIALLY SET OUT TO TELL. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THAT STORY AND THE LARGER PICTURE OF, IN ESSENCE, OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES?

Jamie says THAT'S ALL? WELL, THE... YEAH, I MEAN, AS... YOU WAIT FOR GREAT STORIES AS A DOCUMENTARY MAKER. YOU PRAY FOR GREAT STORIES TO KIND OF COME YOUR WAY, AND THIS IS PROBABLY LIKE A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME KIND OF STORY IN THAT REGARD, AND HAS SUCH AN INCREDIBLE RANGE OF MATERIAL TO IT, YOU KNOW, FROM THIS KIND OF DARKLY HUMOROUS STUFF THAT WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR THE MOST PART. SO FAR, YOU KNOW, NOT MORRISSEAU'S OWN FASCINATING BIOGRAPHY ASIDE, THAT AND THEN THEN WE FOLLOW THE TRAIL OF A SO IN KEVIN'S COURTCASE KIND OF FRAMEWORK OF IT ONE OF THE THINGS HE'S TOLD IN THE COURSE OF THIS LEGAL BATTLE HE'S GIVEN A SERIES OF PROVENANCE STATEMENTS ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF HIS PAINTING WHICH I MENTIONED IS KIND OF A REPRESENTATIVE OF THIS WHOLE SPECIES OF PAINTING WHY IT'S SO HOTLY FOUGHT OVER AND WE KIND OF TRACE ATTRACT THESE VERY PROVENANCE ACTUALLY CONTRADICTORILY ON STATEMENTS HE WAS HANDED BY THE GALLERY OWNER JOE McCLOUD AND HIS LEGAL TEAM AND TO DETERMINE THERE NONSENSE AND THEN WE FOLLOW THE TRAIL. WE CAN DISCUSS WHO HE WAS LATER THERE'S A WHOLE TEAM OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN RESEARCHING THIS FOR A LONG TIME WHO TRUSTED ME WITH THIS AND BROUGHT ME INTO IT, AND I VERIFIED AND DID MY OWN RESEARCH AND BUILT ON WHAT THEY HAD FOUND, BUT THE TRAIL LEADS TO THUNDER BAY AND BASICALLY A WHOLE OTHER WORLD OF PAIN, ESSENTIALLY. AND OUT OF WHICH THESE PAINTINGS, NOT TO SPOIL TOO MUCH, BUT MAY HAVE BEEN COMING, YOU KNOW?

Steve says AND WE SHOULD JUST LEAVE IT THERE, BECAUSE THERE'S A WHOLE DESCENT INTO AN AWFUL WORLD OF CRIME AND PAIN AND PUNISHMENT THAT YOUR DOCUMENTARY GOES INTO IN SOME DETAIL, AND LET'S LET PEOPLE DISCOVER THAT FOR THEMSELVES.

Jamie says SURE, AND IT WAS... I WILL SAY IT WAS A STORY THAT EVEN THOUGH WHEN I HEARD IT MYSELF INITIALLY FROM KEVIN AND HIS LAWYER, THE BONES OF THIS, I COULD NOT BELIEVE... YOU KNOW, PEOPLE I TRUSTED, I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT UNTIL I PLUNGED INTO IT MYSELF AND UNTIL I STARTED MEETING THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE SOME INCREDIBLE PEOPLE THAT THE AUDIENCE IS GONNA MEET.

Steve says CARMEN I GOT 30 SECONDS LEFT HERE YOU WANNA TELL ME ABOUT THE MORRISSEAU PROJECT?

Carmen says YEAH. THE MORRISSEAU PROJECT IS A TEAM OF RESEARCHERS 14 RESEARCHERS FROM ACROSS CANADA, INDIGENOUS AND NON-INDIGENOUS SCHOLARS, CURATORS PEOPLE WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE NORVAL MORRISSEAU HERITAGE SOCIETY AND WE ARE WORKING TO BRING TOGETHER HIS SECURE WORKS FROM 1955 TO 1985 AND PRESENT THAT ANALYZE THAT TOGETHER IN A WAY THAT ANY MAJOR MAIN STREAM ART FIGURE WOULD HAVE THAT TREATMENT DONE. BUT IT'S NEVER BEEN DONE FOR AN INDIGENOUS ARTIST IN CANADA SO IT'S A PRETTY EXCITING PROJECT AND IT'S FEDERALLY FUNDED AND WERE WORKING RIGHT NOW TO ACTUALLY BRING TOGETHER AS MANY OF THE WORKS AS POSSIBLE SO IF YOU KNOW OF A MORRISSEAU GIVE ME A CALL.

The caption changes to "Producer: Sandra Gionas, @sandragionas."

Steve says THAT IS A WONDERFUL MISSION AND WE WISH YOU WELL WITH IT. AS WE DO JAMIE KASTNER WITH HIS DOCUMENTARY THERE ARE NO FAKES, WHICH WILL AIR SATURDAY NIGHT. PRIMETIME. 9PM. ON TVO. JAMIE KASTNER, CARMEN ROBERTSON, THANKS TO BOTH OF YOU FOR COMING ON TO TVO TONIGHT.

Jamie says THANK YOU.

Carmen says THANK YOU, STEVE.

Watch: Forgery, Morrisseau, and Indigenous Art