This investigation will apply a method of Walter Benjamin to the history of photography, trying to examine aura concerns through the three periods: 1. analogue with aura 2.analogue without aura 3.digital period of non-aura photography…
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Specifically, this investigation will apply a method of Walter Benjamin to the history of photography, trying to examine aura concerns through the three periods, that is, firstly, analogue with aura, then, secondly, analogue without aura, and, thirdly, digital period of non-aura photography. From the other point, we will be focused on rather art history of photography without both a multitude of great names and technical innovations concerning photo camera. However, our attention will be drawn on rather implications of an outsider, being concentrated on the history of photographs themselves, not on people by whom they wee shot or cameras with a means of which these photographs were made. Accordingly, with an assistance of Walter Benjamin, we will be able to recognize representative photographs from the varying epoch as symptoms of historical periods of art photography concerning presence or absence of aura itself in photographs. According to Walter Benjamin, the first age of photography can be presented by such masters as David Octavius Hill, Daguer, Utrillo, Blossfeldt, and Dauthendey. With the means of aura, or a magic value of the visual message, they all used photography as a human portrait to “reveal the secret” of this “optical unconsciousness” more than “atmospheric landscape or the soulful portrait.” (Benjamin, 57-59) ...
as real and alive as nature itself.” (Benjamin, 59-60) Analogues without aura: Atget, 1900s After Analogues with aura’ epoch in the history of photography, 1850s, the next period could be represented through an absence of such aura. Accordingly, having the advantage of a mechanical device, photographer must be regarded as being subject to restrictive laws of this device (Benjamin, 58-65), which factor, presumably, was essential in case of aura’s absence. This direction will be illustrated through Atget’s creativity, so we will give some factual background firstly, going to aura’s definition, and, thirdly, to symptoms of aura’s absence concerning peculiar examples. Firstly, according to Walter Benjamin, “Atget’s Paris photographs are the forerunners of surrealist photography” and he was the first “to disinfect the stifling atmosphere, generated by conventional portrait photography in the age of decline.” (Benjamin, 61) Then, Atget discovered “unremarked,” “forgotten,” “cast adrift,” “against the exotic, romantically sonorous” objects, pumping “the aura out of reality” and initiating the “emancipation of object from aura,” which trait should be considered as the “most signal achievement of the latest school of photography.” (Benjamin, 61) Furthermore, Atget’s photographs, mad with an intention to “sacrifice … the illumination of detail,” (Benjamin, 58-60) give us a good opportunity for an aura’ identification. Accordingly, this “unique appearance or resemblance of distance” makes things closer, “as … overcoming of whatever is unique in every situation by means of its reproduction.” (Benjamin, 58-60) Thus, in a situation when an imperative of a copy rather than a picture becomes more evident, it should
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