The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin

1263 Words5 Pages
While reading the article, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” by Walter Benjamin, it is clear to grasp the idea being portrayed. The author is determined to prove to his readers how the advancement of humanity has led to drastic changes in how we create and perceive artwork. Mechanical reproduction of a work of art, however, represents something new. Historically, it advanced intermittently and in leaps at long intervals, but with accelerated intensity. One of the questions brought up in the article is: Has the aura of art been altered through its mechanical reproduction? Walter Benjamin offers several strong examples to describe exactly what aura is and how mechanical reproduction drastically alters this deep sensation in original artwork. Moreover, he includes two key concepts of ritual and tradition throughout the article. The author does a good job of explaining how the mechanical reproduction of artifacts can negatively influence the traditional form of fine art. In other words, art was simply a craft that was man-made before we had the ability to duplicate it. The custom of creating art was considerably altered when mechanical reproduction started. Hence, the original or “traditional” way of producing fine art was completely changed. Secondly, Walter Benjamin uses the concept of ritual, which he has also clearly defined within his article. Using context clues, we can deduce that he believes the aura of any art is never disconnected from its
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