28.09.2017 PWT 39-2017 Looking at Auratic Portraits

« Walter Benjamin first speaks of aura in his Little History of Photography (1931), where he tries to explain why it is that, in his eyes, the very earliest portrait photographs — the incunabula of photography — have auras, whereas photographs of a generation later have lost them.In The Work of Art, the notion of aura is extended rather recklessly from old photographs to works of art in general. The end of aura, says Benjamin, will be more than compensated for by the emancipatory capacities of the new technologies of reproduction. Cinema will replace auratic art.Even Benjamin’s friends found it hard to get a grip on aura… »

PWT 39-2017 Auratic Portraits

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