The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction combats traditional art criticism's treatment of artworks as fixed, unchanging mystical objects. For Walter Benjamin, the consequences of addressing a work of art in this manner have a wider resonance: closed off from any active visual or tactile engagement, the work of art becomes an object of passive contemplation and a potential tool of oppression.
Benjamin argues that technology has fundamentally altered the way art is experienced. Potentially open to interpretation and accessible to many, art in the age of mechanical reproduction has the potential to be mobilized for radical purposes. While ostensibly addressing the artistic consequences of technical reproducibility on art, Benjamin also addresses the wider political consequences of this shift.
Dr Rachele Dini studied at Cambridge, King's College London and University College London. Much of her current work focuses on the representation of production and consumption in modern and contemporary Anglo-American fiction.
Ways into the text Who was Walter Benjamin? What does The Work Of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction say? Why does The Work Of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction matter? Section 1: Influences Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context Module 2: Academic Context Module 3: The Problem Module 4: The Author's Contribution Section 2: Ideas Module 5: Main Ideas Module 6: Secondary Ideas Module 7: Achievement Module 8: Place in the Author's Work Section 3: Impact Module 9: The First Responses Module 10: The Evolving Debate Module 11: Impact and Influence Today Module 12: Where Next? Glossary of Terms People Mentioned in the Text Works Cited