The main idea of the essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is that the traditional ritual meaning of art can be lost due to the modern technical facilities and chaotic print of the works. I consider this statement as a valid and well-grounded. For Benjamin, every work of art should be unique in order to create the spiritual connection with the audience. In the age of mass-products, the real value of art is neglected. Although reproducible works are popular and accessible, only original art has the ritual ground.
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Although, in general, I agree with Benjamin, it would be wrong to insist upon the statement that all products of the mass-culture are empty and meaningless. The successful life of the reproductions, different interpretations of well-known works of art demonstrate a tendency of simplification of our life. It is the basic of modern civilization.
It is obvious that, seeing the authentic work, we can have more profound experience. However, in case if someone cannot visit the famous galleries, one has a possibility to become acquainted with the works of art by observing the reproductions. I think that the geographical distance is one of the key moments which should be taken into account, talking about the negative side of reproductions.
Benjamin says that all human artifacts can be repeated by other humans. However, the process of mechanical reproduction led to the enormous print. It is difficult to argue with the author, as today we are witness of the chaotic production of the famous pictures, for instance, Mona Lisa or Sunflowers of van Gogh on the paper, clothes, glasses, etc. But, also we can see that the mass-production became iconic for the whole population.
Therefore, it would be absolutely wrong to insist on the statement that modern art is something outlive and soulless. Perhaps, reproductions do not contain the same aura as the authentic works, but they still can inspire people.
I do not agree with the fears that reproduction can reduce a creation of the original works. In all times, people were appreciating the authentic works of great masters. Although, the mechanical print of the works of art have a significant influence, today, the originality is still essential and people of all nationalities admire the best examples of the world heritage that cannot be out-of-date, in spite of the world-wide prevalence of the secondary works and reproductions of the famous artifacts.