How Did Walter Benjamin Use Aura In Relation To The Work Of Art

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This essay will discuss about the notion of aura in relation to Walter Benjamin’s Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. The focus will be on how the notion of aura had shifted and evolved to this day and time. At the time of his writing, the change caused by photography and film can be said to be still at its infancy. This essay will also discuss how the work of art becomes a creation of entirely new functions , and the new knowledge generated from photography. The adjustment of what is perceived as “reality” to the masses and of the masses to reality will also be discussed. Walter Benjamin’s theory of how the Aura of work shaped by history, culture and society will also be discussed, and how this situation has been shifted to…show more content…
In ancient Egypt, the Pharoah’s images were made to not look exactly like a human, but like a living god. The commoners were not allowed to see the Pharoah’s real image. The aura of the king was spread by the images made by sculptors. Throughout history the aura of powerful figures or gods were experienced by the commoner through paintings or sculptures. The situation changed when photographs of the Japanese Emperor Mutsuhito were leaked to the commoner. For the first time in history, the commoners saw the true face of the “living god” that was the emperor, and mechanical reproduction made it such that distribution became much easier and cheaper. The once revered, mysterious image has been reduced to mere photographs which were easily distributed. The aura of uniqueness was also diminished bcause of obtainability. Walter Benjamin also argued that the painting, a still image, allowed the viewer to contemplate in his own time and pace, while the moving image of film would not allow one to do so, and one would be fed the next image which he cannot…show more content…
As more replicas are made, the amount of replicas was proportionate to how famous the person is. This phenomenon was something that Walter Benjamin might have missed. A case in point would be Marilyn Monroe. As such, photography and film creates another form of aura, which makes the ordinary famous. It kills the original aura, but creates a new form. She was a commoner, transformed into a celebrity through popularity, with the mass production techniques used, being prints, photographs, and film. Human’s were once again “immortalized”, going back to the times where kings used imaged to “immortalize” themselves in the minds of the people. Even up till today, politicians continue to use mechanical reproduction to create their own aura. These mechanical reproductions were used extensively by the

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