The oranges were flimsy plastic balls, and the leaves were plastic, attached to plastic twigs. Still, the grove of twenty potted trees didn’t strike me as fake when I walked in.
I found myself sitting next to one of them. I realized that a living tree (who knows if it had been an orange tree) had died to become the armature of each of the fakes.
They were not so much fakes as collages. They’re illusions - just like fake flowers - we willingly give ourselves over to in return for the pleasure of seeing nature.
The simulacrum seemed even more appropriate given the venue: an indoor garden setting under an expanse of cantilevered plate glass on which the evening rain was puddling.