Baudrillard helpfully distills the four "successive phases of the image" as follows (letters inserted to facilitate future references):
"the image is the reflection of a profound reality; [a]
-- masks and denatures a profound reality; [b]
-- masks the absence of a profound reality; [c]
-- has no relation to any reality whatsoever: it is its own pure simulacrum" [d] (6).
Then on page 9, he turns to the example of the the Lascaux caves, and the precious cave art contained inside. An exact replica of the caves have been constructed near the original, "so that everyone could see them" (presumably without incurring any damage to the original). Baudrillard then writes "It is possible that the memory of the original grottoes is itself stamped in the minds of future generations, but from now on there is no longer any difference: the duplication suffices to render both artificial" (9).
This seemingly puts the Lascaux duplication as option d from above--if both are artificial now, then neither can have any relation to reality. Though I guess artificial implies _not_reality, which is still related to reality, as a contradiction--is that a valid distinction to make?
But the issue I have is to question whether a duplication completely invalidates the original, which still exists. It's not as if it's been destroyed and replaced, merely preserved. This approach puts Lascaux as either option A, or, if you're cynical, option b. But to make them both artificial? That seems needlessly, deliberately cynical--as if you're tabling the knowledge that the original is still extant in order to wallow in the depression of acknowledging that it's been duplicated. As long as there's no confusion as to which is which (not hard in this case, given the geographical fixity of the original), I don't buy the artificiality of both.
Maybe in a different scenario where there's a duplication and the original becomes immediately indistinguishable from the copy--like, hmm, Campbel's soup cans? Trite example, but there I can understand the artificiality/removal from relation to an original reality.
Thoughts? A flawed example from Baud., a good example from Baud. and bollocks to my quibbles?