The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Walter Benjamin essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” talks about how art can be reproduced a multiple time in this age with the aid of technology. 

In this essay Walter states a very interesting point, that  in the world of modernisation a piece of art can be reproduced a million time, so that work of art has to meaning to its authentic or uniqueness. Another intersection mention is “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”. 

When an artist creates an art piece many factors influence his work. His surroundings too. And somewhere an art work made is a particular region and a particular time would covey more meaning than relocating that work by mass production. For example the famous David by Michelangelo created in Florence. If even a copy of the statue was brought to India, the statue would make no sense, as David has an history attached to it and was highly influenced by the time and space it was made in. And in India we would never be able to understand it as our history is completely different to florence. Even if multiple copies are made of the David, yet the original statue has its value and it the essence of time, experience and manual touch to it. 

Also today if a photography of the sun set has been captured and a multiple copies are made of it, the entire value of the 1st picture will loose its value. In todays world reproduction of work is done at such high rate that it has no value. Early a single art piece would take time. A lot of thought process and hand work would go into. 

In conclusion I feel that the pace at with art is reproduced very soon the passion and understanding deep meanings related to an art work is going to fade away.


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