PRECIS: Benjamin

Benjamin starts his article by saying Marx has created a system that exploits the working class and has set up a system where it is possible for capitalism to abolish itself (251). How this system now affects our culture can only be assessed by new rules now which have been tailored to fit his prognostic requirements (252). Marx claims that original creativity is dead but Benjamin counters the statement with an example from the Greeks. The Greeks only had two different ways to produce art. One is casting and the other is stamping. Literally, their coinage and bronzes were the only artworks that could be mass reproduced. All other works of art were unique and one unto their own. There here and the now is what Marx leaves off of his analysis. The here and now are what make works of art different and unique. An example would be photography. Film can be developed to highlight different things. Though the picture is the same the human eye can be drawn to focus on different aspects of the photo. On the same note a work of art can be seen differently by different people. Different interpretations give art new meanings all the time. I think that Benjamin is arguing on a different basis than Marx. Benjamin is showing how works of art have new meaning to new people. Marx is saying nothing can be done that hasn’t already been done before. I think they are both right. A reproduction of a painting is something that has been done before but put it in a new location and it has a new meaning,

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