Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” in Illuminations, translated by Harry Zohn, 217-251. New York: Schocken Book, 1968.

To remember:

“Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be” (218).

“The whole sphere of authenticity is outside technical – and of course not only technical – reproducibility” (218).

“One might subsume the eliminated element in the term ‘aura’ and go on to say:that which withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of the work of art” (219).

“Every day the urge grows stronger to get hold of an object at very close range by way of its likeness, its reproduction … To pry an object from its shell, to destroy its aura, is the mark of a perception whose ‘sense of the universal equality of things’ has increased to such a degree that it extracts it even from a unique object by means of reproduction” (219-20).

thinking about:

desired proximity vs. desired authenticity

experiencing aura via photograph [do we, can we?] … can precise mimesis extend a flattened aura? maybe? false sense of aura? hmm.

the tingling sensation felt in being in the same room as frida’s canvas and color vs. the shrugged acknowledgement of ‘starry night’ print in dorm room

 

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One thought on “Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”

  1. Pingback: Sedgwick, Eve. Touching Feeling Introduction | {kin}aesthetic composure

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