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According to Benjamin, the aura can be tracked back to the origins of art that is embedded in objects that a tribe sees as sacred. The quality of the art is the aura of the whole art (Benjamin 223). The thing that makes aura is its inaccessibility. The worshippers or observers do it from a far distance, it was a cult object traditionally, and no one dared go near it. The mechanical reproduction technology, however, has dispelled the aura that came with any form of art. The artwork has been available for people to be able to visualize and feel it through endless reproduction. The continuous reproduction of the art provided a substitute for the original and real thing. It enabled the audience get a sense of ownership and accessibility of the real thing. According to Benjamin, the audience wanted to get closer to the art because of the uniqueness of each piece (Benjamin 224). The preciseness of the artwork that gave the piece its aura assimilates to the masses through mechanical reproduction.
The aura and authenticity of an image through the technological reproduction must be show and be a substitute for human being’s mysterious needs in viewing an image. The idea of authenticity, originality, and vanishing point of aura is a spell of capitalism. The vanishing point into the commodity spells capitalism. Since the time of high-end capitalism, the ego and one’s sense of aura and individualism makes a person an illusion. The individualism of a person had its expression in items and commodities that were substitutes of a person’s uniqueness. The time Benjamin wrote the essay on the aura of the artwork was during a crisis in Paris between the form of art and an individual’s freedom to choose a commodity. The system would make the aura wither. Mechanical reproduction, however, makes the aura of the artworks remain (Benjamin 231) as the art would be transported from one its original place to the present
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