Benjamin’s Work of Art

Walter Benjamin's influence particularly on the theory and also practice of art history as seen in the English-speaking world seems to have grown substantially recently, and largely this may be due to the increasing availability of his excellent work in translation. But simply because the art-Historical reception by Benjamin focuses primarily on the given essays that deal with photography and film, it is apparent that it has failed to recognize Benjamin's texts pertaining to mimesis, on the given epistemology of form and perception, and, most importantly, on the philosophy about history however significant they are in the history of art. Indeed, like many of the Benjamin's work have it, ranging from the current the one not translated 'Begriff der Kunstkritik in der deutschen Romantic' (The concept of Art Critism in German Romantism) to his current 'Magnum opus' the 'Passagen werk' (Arcades Project).

In principle, it apparent of how art work has been reproducible like in the case of photography, Lithography, etching, engraving print, woodcut, stamping and finally founding. When considering photography, value's exhibition begins to the cult value just all along the line. However the cult value never receded quietly and some of the early photos tended to retain some measures of 'aura' through the focusing on the human countenance. But the moment photography took on other subjects, the exhibition value happens to show its own superiority towards the ritual value.

It is worthy to note that Photography took on new purposes, in the establishment of new purposes and evidence, for instance, and then necessitated newer approaching strategies, hence the existing contemplation proved inappropriate. The existence of the former is actually prerequisite as pertains to the concept of authenticity, it being confronted with the 'manual reproduction'. This was usually termed as branded forgery, as the original tended to preserve all its authority; not so 'vis a vis reproduction'.

The reason for the above allegations is twofold. On the first point, the process reproduction happens to be more independent as compared to the manual reproduction. Secondly, the technical reproduction can actually place the copy of the original into given situations that would just be out of reach for the very original itself. Above all, it assists in enabling of the original to be in position to meet the beholder halfway regardless of whether in photograph form or even photograph record. It is worth to note that it was for the first time in world history that the mechanical reproduction emancipates the art's work out of its parasitical dependence particularly on ritual. To even a larger part, the reproduced work would tend to become the art's work designed for the purpose of reproducibility. From a photographic negativity part of it, like when an individual makes any number of prints, asking for the 'authenticity actually makes no sense at all.

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Still in his essays Walter engages in a sort of intriguing dialectical analysis of the way in which the twentieth century technology has impacted on the art production, distribution and also consumption. On the other part, he tends to state that mechanical production can lead to destruction of 'aura' belonging to the original art work, hence its presence displacement in space and time, its unique being at wherever it happened to be. Benjamin further acknowledges, however, that the trend in mechanical production can have liberty in the emancipation of the art's work from the parasitical dependence on the ritual.

The above theories are applicable in particularly illumination of the ways to the studying of jazz in the twentieth century. Benjamin succeeds in making a crucial distinction between the manual reproduction which in actual fact tends to rein scribe the authenticity belonging to the original work by virtue of the secondary status as 'forger' and 'technical reproduction' which leads to disruption and challenging of all the available concepts of authenticity. Benjamin clearly does the analysis of the distinction within the given context of visual art, however, in the case where the 'original' works is in physical or rather tangible form comparable to its reproductions. Jazz in its former incarnations just before the music was available in recordings bearing pornography, in general only existed only during the time of its performance, one that was associated with spontaneity and improvisation. A jazz music even though lacking at least the representational records of sheet music, once it was completed, was done, never to be heard in the same way anymore.

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Since it was impossible to manually reproduce jazz, once technically reproduced, the music now would be even more profoundly alienated from the aura of originality it belonged to, than most of other art forms, to the question of whether the 'original' jazz trend in performance tends to exist outside the mechanical reproduction medium.

In an attempt to pinpoint on use of studio, art's work has been reproducible. Those artifacts that are man-made could just be imitated by men. The replicas were actually made by students in a practice to their craft, by masters for diffusion of their works and finally by the third parties in pursuit of the gain. A work art by mechanical reproduction hence represents something that appears newer. As history has it, it intermittently advanced and in leaps at long intervals.

Even the most one termed as the most perfect reproduction art work is one element. Interestingly, even the most perfect reproduction of art work is also lacking in one element. This may refer to its presence in time and the space, and its uniqueness when considering wherever it is supposed to be. This given uniqueness of the work of art consequently determined the history to which the article was subject through all the time it existed. This also counts the changes it may have endured in physical conditions over the years as well as some other changes in terms of its ownership. The traces belonging can actually be revealed only by either the chemical or even the physical analyses of which it is normally impossible to perform on a certain reproduction. Changes of ownership are usually subject to a tradition that has to be traced from the original situation. Actually the presence of the original is important to the concept of the authenticity.

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As such, since jazz could not be manually reproduced, once it was technically reproduced, the music was even more profoundly alienated from its aura of originality than were most other art forms, to the extent that one might question whether an "original" jazz performance exists outside the medium of mechanical reproduction. As soon as jazz recordings were made available to a wide audience, these mechanical reproductions became one of the primary ways through which jazz was studied and interpreted, by both critics and musicians. Thus what now constitutes jazz is the product of a dialectical development whereby an improvisatory art form, highly resistant to reproduction within the performance environment, was intimately and profoundly affected by the mechanical reproduction of sound.

Jazz's subject tends to pose a given listening problem for the Benjamin's conception as pertains to the age of mechanical reproduction, as it really never fit into any of the basic dialectics on the basing of his essay. Actually he divides art into two important categories. One portion just like the basing of his essay might be explained as pre-production art work: forms like painting, architecture, and also the sculpture whose ritual together with the cultic aura is totally destroyed or even dissipated when the technical reproductions remove the work from its former temporal and physical settings. The other is the portion Benjamin refers to as 'the work art designed for reproducibility'. Still, the birth cum development of the jazz now is associated with the invention and development of recordings of sound. Before the first recording, several ideas as pertains to jazz were written down and now the music came into existence almost exclusively within the transitory performance and space.

Due to this, the early jazz has been completely lost to the historian. It does not mean that one is suggestion that there exists no connection between recorded and pre-recorded jazz. Apparently, recorded jazz is termed as a product of the complex connections of the ideas in music from a particular musician to another that tends to extend to well back into the 'prehistory' of the music. However, without the sheet music's records, it is quite impossible to study, particularly with any degree of scholarly precision that is customary available in the study of Western classical music. Thus, to most of the listeners, jazz qualifies to be unknown jazz if at all it is unrecorded jazz. This situation is actually symptomatic of a significant perceptual; gap that opens up between jazz from before and after the sound recording advent, but also may be between the live and recorded jazz generally.

In examination of these gaps in ones understanding of jazz, one ought to find endeavor in reconstruction of the environment of 'prehistoric' jazz. Benjamin explains that an example of the key elements in the ritual art is normally a sense of distance inapproachability a major quality as far as the cult image is concerned. True to its being, it remains, distant however close it may be.

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