The Concept Of Aura In Art

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To describe the feeling one get when looking at art, is difficult, and many theorists struggle with how something so purely emotional, so “unreal” is ever present in the world of art. How can something so fluid be grasped? In this essay I will explore the word aura, and how it relates to art. I will argue that the connections we get when looking at art is unreachable and cannot be related to either space or concept. Aura, according to Merriam-Websters Dictionary(2016) is described as “a special quality or feeling that seems to come from a person, place, or thing». The concept of Aura in art, originated from the German philosopher Walter Benjamin in 1935. It is attached to the unique. Unique artwork is "charged". They have authenticity. The…show more content…
According to him the artistic field is defined as a system where we struggle with the appropriation of cultural capital, and takes advantage of our economic status to “build” status. In other words, the only reason we buy and appreciate art is because it will lift us higher in the social hierarchy. Here he ignores the experience, the feeling and emotional connection we get when looking at art. He . (Battani, 2011) This aura-experience according to Bourdieu is explained not by a mystical feeling, but the happiness we feel when understanding an object. When we first lay eyes on an art-piece we try to decompose it., to understand it and discover meaning and concept. And this is true to some extent. We do experience a boost of confidence and happiness when managing to de-puzzle something that is not fully understandable at first glance. But in my opinion this does not describe the experience itself in looking at…show more content…
The experience of looking can entail something completely different than the actual concept or message the artist is trying to convey. Therefore, we cannot say that aura is connected to concept or understanding of the object. When faced with the artworks value I believe there is a distinction between what is or isn’t valuable. This is related to the ritual that we normally associate with religion. Many of the most valuable objects in the world are somehow connected to religion, and this is what Benjamin describes as “cult” value. This is explained as the respect we grant art when there is a certain purpose and place for the piece to exist in. The School of Athens (1509-1511) is a fresco, famously displayed in the Apostolic castle in the Vatican. It is painted on the wall, and cannot be replaced, taken down or exhibited somewhere else. It has a purpose in the sense that it represents one of the first wall paintings ever to be finished in the Vatican, as well as one of the greatest examples of Renaissance art in the world. The Victoria and Albert museum in London has their own replica of this art-piece exhibited. This for me is destroying the “ritual” Benjamin talks about, and therefore loosing value. Art can loose its cult value when it transforms into exhibition value. It has more of a political purpose than cultural (Carbone, 2009). In other words the art builds social value for the
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