The Benjaminian concept of the aura and dialectical images: Mariko Mori's digital montages and a historical modernity
Lee, Young ji
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Reinvestigating the Benjaminian concept of the aura, which has been appropriated by art historians and critics, opens up another possibility that fully conveys the opportune issues we are now facing, thus giving us an acute insight with which we appreciate the putative modern art. With the notion of aura, the dialectical images Walter Benjamin conceptualized in the Arcades Project are also a very pivotal subject. Far from a stylistic analysis of modern art, those concepts broaden our understanding of the relationship between art and technology, the tension between art, including digital culture and society, and finally the discourse of modernity which ultimately broaches a question of ethics. The digital montages of Mariko Mori, a young Japanese artist, are the most typical works to cover these topics while suggesting gender issues. Thanks to the unimaginable comprehensiveness of the Arcades Project, the basic theoretical frame of Mariko Mori's digital montages comes mostly from Walter Benjamin's voice which brings up versatile problematic and thought-provoking matters of the modern.