Walter Benjamin – Critical response

Walter Benjamin was born in Berlin in 1892 and died in 1940. He was a literary critic and writer.

He wrote “The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction.”

He said reproduction of art was always happened almost since art was there. For example artists sitting in galleries learning to paint from original painting, bronze sculptures made from moulds were easy to reproduce, coins were easy to make.

He believe that the cost of reproducing artwork in any form could be done for small cost but could be sold to lot of people for much more money.

Printing became easy and cheap and this form of reproduction was used to pass messages, for example political and to let the public know information.

He stated that photography was very accurate reproduction as you can not make mistake taking photograph and photographs don’t lie but taking photos of images and reproducing them the artist is taking away value of it.

In conclusion he believed that the more art is reproduced the less valuable it becomes because it is not unique anymore and everyone can have it.

I felt I had to write a brief meaning of the book as this was a very complicated read. I only understood the basics because of a lecture in class. It is not a history about art movement but a history on the technological changes in history. There are no images to help with the understanding of the text and it is a tiresome read and not written in simple, plain English. I tried reading it many times but came to the same conclusion every time, that if you can get someone to explain the book it would be so much better then trying to read it yourself!

Walter Benjamin       tumblr_l4i7psZEx91qcur7ko1_1280


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