The work of art in the age of Trump

  • In the age of mechanical reproducibility, the 'aura' surrounding works of art undergoes a crisis. The contemporary relevance of Walter Benjamin's thesis - in its societal, aesthetic, and media-theoretical significance - is illustrated by former U.S. president Donald Trump's purported ownership of "Les deux soeurs" ("Two Sisters"), also known as "Sur la terrasse" ("On the Terrace"), by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Journalist Mark Bowden, who caught a glimpse of the painting when he was invited to Trump's jet in 1997, describes the event in an article for Vanity Fair: "He showed off the gilded interior of his plane - calling me over to inspect a Renoir on its walls, beckoning me to lean in closely to see … what? The luminosity of the brush strokes? The masterly use of color? No. The signature. 'Worth $10 million,' he told me." Of course, this is the attitude that one might expect from a real-estate mogul turned art collector (although not from a future president). In ignorance of both form and content - to say nothing of their unity - the painting is reduced to its sheer exchange value, concentrated in the signature guaranteeing its authenticity.

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Author:Ross ShieldsORCiDGND
Parent Title (German):ZfL Blog : Blog des Leibniz-Zentrums für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin
Series (Serial Number):ZfL Blog : Blog des Leibniz-Zentrums für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin (15.02.2021)
Publisher:Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Part of Periodical
Date of Publication (online):2022/01/26
Date of first Publication:2021/02/15
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/03/04
GND Keyword:Benjamin, Walter; Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit; Authentizität; Kunst; Aura <Philosophie>
Page Number:5
First Page:1
Last Page:5
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 80 Literatur, Rhetorik, Literaturwissenschaft / 800 Literatur und Rhetorik
Sammlungen:CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft / Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:ZfL Blog : Blog des Leibniz-Zentrums für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell-Keine Bearbeitung 3.0