Free Art Posters
Alt_Cph, the alternative Copenhagen Art Fair, 18-20 September 2009
New Social Art School distributes free art posters in order to promote a project about women in prison, the criminal justice system and alternatives to imprisonment of women and girls who pose no risk to society.
The poster is a reproduction of a painting by Eva Merz: The Hopeless (Situation) depicts a scene where a young woman in suicide outfit is being restricted by prison wardens. The image is originally a film-still from a BBC documentary, Girls Behind Bars, from Cornton Vale, Scotland’s only women’s prison.
The curator, Danish artist Signe Vad, free posters, books and audience...
A few ideas taken from Walter Benjamin’s
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936)
Notes by Alejandra Rodriguez-Remedi
Artistic production has always been framed by historical developments. It began with images that served ritual purposes, “magical at first, then religious”. Different historical periods have witnessed technological advances which have given birth to new art forms. Not only has the “mode of being of the human collective” changed throughout history but also the “manner of its sense perception”.
Reproductive technology has turned “a unique incidence” into “a multiplicity of incidences” which are “more autonomous relative to the original” and therefore “do not keep full authority”. Moreover, it can place the copy of the original in situations beyond the reach of the original itself. In the case of photography (“the first truly revolutionary means of reproduction”), the debate should have started with whether, with the invention of photography, “the very nature of art had undergone a change” rather than with “whether photography was an art”.
The main consequences of technological means of reproduction for art can be grouped into levels of production and reception (consumption):
(1) The “aura” of works of art (i.e. unique manifestation whose foundations are the rituals of tradition) shrinks or fades. “The question of the genuine print thus has no meaning in photography”, for example. “The social function of art underwent an upheaval when the criterion of genuineness was no longer applicable”. Reproductive technology thus set art free: art came to be underpinned by politics rather than by ritual, and “opportunities for displaying” and adopting “new functions” increased.
(2) The relationship of the mass to art is altered: The masses could find emancipation or mere subjugation when dominant powers which own the structures keep them unaltered.
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