Walter Benjamin The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction Essay

Walter Benjamin The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction Essay-67
Benjamin identified two major manifestations of the technological reproduction of art.The first is the reproduction of any form of art using modern technological mechanisms (like photography) which profoundly affects the authenticity of the original work of art.Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin was a German-Jewish Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator, and philosopher.

Benjamin identified two major manifestations of the technological reproduction of art.The first is the reproduction of any form of art using modern technological mechanisms (like photography) which profoundly affects the authenticity of the original work of art.Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin was a German-Jewish Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator, and philosopher.

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Walter Benjamin wrote “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” during his years of exile in France from Nazi Germany.

Benjamin was deeply affected by the extremely politically tumultuous situation in France.

Technological reproduction often produces copies of the work of art which outlive the original work of art, thus making the physical lifespan of the actual work largely irrelevant.

Benjamin perceives this as a devaluation of the “here and now” of the artwork by technological reproduction, which he terms as the decaying of the aura of the work of art.

Therefore, it is only inevitable that as a response to the political turmoil he experienced and suffered, he would envision the work of art in his ongoing projects as an active political instrument.

He worked on the essay from 1935 to 1939 and produced three versions.

Yet it is different from replicas made with hand, which are usually considered as counterfeit copies.

Firstly, technological reproduction often emphasizes aspects of works of art which might not otherwise be accessible to the human senses (such as the finer details of an architecture captured in a photograph).

He writes that according to Marx capitalism would not only cause ruthless exploitation of the proletariat, it would also lead to the generation of conditions which would ultimately cause its own destruction.

Benjamin feels that the change in the mode of production demands the formulation of new theses which would outline the propensities behind the creation of art in the transformed economic environment.

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