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The issue of replicating in art of painting

The more democratic dissemination possible with photography, film and video positioned them as the contemporary artistic media. Others, however, reacted against the logic of the copy, turning their attention instead to the trace, the authentic remnant, the found object, the index.

For the editors of October magazine and others, this resurgence represented a challenge to post-conceptual and post-minimalist art. As a result, late modernist and neo-expressionist painting came to be construed as attempts to recover what Benjamin regarded as the failing aura of the work of art. Crimp was careful, however, not to the issue of replicating in art of painting painting as a medium with aura for, as he correctly noted, aura has to do with modes of reception, not mediums.

This position, articulated in the 1980s, still holds considerable sway. Its tenaciousness can probably be ascribed to the authority of Benjamin whose essay of 1936 is so often invoked. The most successful critics, therefore, have argued that a closer, wider reading of Benjamin would reveal a more complex picture. Yet it is fair to say that in 1936, he does regard photography and film as media better suited to the needs of a new revolutionary culture.

Yet Benjamin also is sensitive to the desire for auratic, aesthetic, experience in a world where it is always threatening to collapse into the copy and the commodity.

They note, for example, how auratic experience in nature or art is linked to the reciprocity of the gaze. Even things, in this utopian perspective, participate in intersubjective exchanges — something the surrealists fully appreciated.

Aura is also bound up with the intertwining of memory and present experience. It is as though the openness of the camera was met by another unprotected, open interiority.

These thoughts lead one to suspect that the reason why replication causes consternation for some is the fear that the kind of experience involving inter-subjectivity, memory, the unconscious and exposure to the other, is in danger of disappearing.

‘Good artists copy, great artists steal’

Of course, the artists Crimp wrote about may have actually been pointing to this danger by ironically repeating the commodity form in their work. Other artists, however, have been reviving certain surrealist, and indeed Benjaminian, tropes to both signal the danger and forestall it.

  1. Tate Britain is pitted by shrapnel scars on its side; it bears the marks of the history to which it has been subject and so evokes collective memory.
  2. But even an artist as slippery as Sturtevant, whose own Gewalt was so deftly hidden, suggests that the old tradition is still with us.
  3. They saw more of such intentions in the professional pieces than in the more random shapes of the children and animals.

These just-obsolete technologies seem to condense both a promise for the future and a melancholic acknowledgement of the fading of those hopes. In short, these confident technologies that once participated in the shock of modernity now open themselves to reverie.

The commodity fetish and advanced technologies of reproduction, now cast aside by the march of progress, become pensive.

Not Exactly Rocket Science

Tate Britain is pitted by shrapnel scars on its side; it bears the marks of the history to which it has been subject and so evokes collective memory.

Wisely, the masonry was not repaired when the new entrance was built.

  1. A colleague working in a fourth-century cave once accidentally discovered a fingerprint impressed in a wall painting. Image courtesy of the Dunhuang Academy I myself was like this.
  2. Assistants copy, as labour for more famous artists. With this device, the artist tempts us to stretch out our hand to completely reveal the scene and become physically involved with it.
  3. In 2015, China recorded its slowest growth in 25 years, and manufacturing workers in Guangdong province, a place once known as the "world's factory floor," have been among the hardest hit.
  4. Hotels and other customers, now they're using printing services. But none of these stories involved paired comparisons.

Similarly, sculpture acquires a patina, both physical and historical, that links it with the passage of time. Yet, just the opposite is the case.

An Artist’s View of Replicating Ancient Paintings

The difficult task of the museum is to conserve the work of art and where necessary even replicate it while protecting its vulnerable aura. Acknowledgements This paper was written as a short discussion document for the Inherent Vice: Tate Papers ISSN 1753-9854 is a peer-reviewed research journal that publishes articles on British and modern international art, and on museum practice today. See also 'Pataphysical Graham':

  • The commodity fetish and advanced technologies of reproduction, now cast aside by the march of progress, become pensive;
  • They're also spending more time on their work;
  • Vermeer and the Dutch Interior 2003, pp.