The Stealing Exhibition @Ethos

The Stealing Exhibition @ InBetween

Curated by InBetween Shop and Young & Innocent
2016.05.28 – 06.20

In ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ – Walter Benjamin discusses the concept of authenticity, particularly in application to reproduction. ‘Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.’

He argues that the ‘sphere of authenticity is outside the technical’ so that the original art­ work is independent of the copy, yet through the act of reproduction, something
is taken from the original by changing its context. He thus introduces the idea of the ‘aura*’ of a work and its absence in a reproduction, a concept borrowed from earlier ideas developed by Ludwig Klages.

Greek founding and stamping, woodcutting, etching, engraving, lithographs and photog­ raphy demonstrating that technical reproduction is not a modern phenomenon, yet modern methods allow for greater accuracy across mass production. While in the digital ages in 2016, everything can be mass produced through 3d printer, advance technique in camera or VR video, allow audience to reproduce images or videos or experience into thousand of copies, in an identical way.

The exhibition ‘The Stealing’ questions if the aura still exists in the form of art?
Or the aura itself no longer exists in 80 years of time. We selected some of the repro­ duced posters in the 1970s-1980s, where the original movie posters were painted by craftsmen/ artists like Drew Struzan, and Philip Castle, etc.

The ‘original movie posters’ are the mass production of the original paintings. We trans­ formed the original movie posters, from their mass reproduction to another unique origi­ nal. The question is, will the “aura*” be recreated in the process, through the artists’ par­ ticipation in painting process? What is the value if the recreated painting being repro­ duced into a single printed poster again? Does the value of the single copy or imitation painting worth less than the original reproduction poster?