PHRASE: "...the destruction of the aura...extracts sameness even from what is unique"

PHRASE: "...the destruction of the aura...is the signature of a perception whose "sense for sameness in the world" has so increased that, by means of reproduction, it extracts sameness even from what is unique" (256).

In Benjamin's work, "The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility," he focuses on the various mediums for the reproduction of art, along with what reproduction means for the world of art. The above phrase describing how when an art work's "aura" or its "unique apparition of a distance" says that an art work's life is basically sucked from it entirely if its sense of distance from its viewer is destroyed. This phrase's importance comes from its explanation of the end result of the two desires of the masses, in regards to the aura of art. Not only do the masses wish to decrease this distance to the art work created by its aura, but they also need everything to be the same. Sameness equals understanding, functionality, and comfort. Therefore, through reproduction, even uniqueness in art can be made obsolete, and, thus, the masses can have their sigh of relief.

This whole idea of reproduction equaling the destruction of uniqueness can apply to examples such as the Mona Lisa painting. While the art work itself was/is unique, its millions of reproductions through clothing, posters, coffee mugs, mouse pads, etc. etc etc., destroy the original's aura or unique qualities. The masses are pleased, since they can now all possess the "same" Mona Lisa, but her artistic transcendence has been tarnished.

No comments: