The More Closely You Look At The World, The More Distant It Becomes
Exhibitied at The Black Mariah, Trikel Arts Centre, Cork. March 2014
This exhibition takes the form of a portrait of the German philosopher and critical theorist, Walter Benjamin. In particular the work is based on his essay, 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,' which was published in 1936 during the writer's exile in Paris. Benjamin's essay deals with the ability of mechanical reproduction to subvert traditional aesthetic values by diminishing the status of the unique, autonomous work of art. He believed that the growth in new technologies, such as photography and film, did away with the cultic status attached to certain creative forms and generated room for art to foment a new significance, a new social function.
Influenced by ideas evident in his seminal essay, a portrait of Benjamin is created using a modern mode of reproductive technology: digital image manipulation and open source software. An image of the philosopher, or, rather, the code of a digitized file of this image, was embedded with the text from 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction' and the sound piece accompanying this imagery is a mutation of his portrait using audio software, thereby creating a technical intervention of sorts.