Opera d’aura

Rivista di Estetica 52:97-115 (2013)
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Abstract

Contrary to what is usually said following Benjamin, the art of the Twentieth century is not characterised by a “loss of aura” due to the loss of the uniqueness of works of art but, precisely in the opposite way, it features an unprecedented hyper-auratisation, due to the hyper-conceptual quality of art. This essay aims at isolating the theoretical and historical coordinates of this paradoxical process, as it constitutes the presupposition of every discourse on contemporary art, where it is more or less assumed that the artistic world is the generator of works of art, being therefore the place where aura is produced and conferred. And that this aura could validly replace beauty in the role of “aesthetic identifier” of the work of art, which I now suggest (to distinguish it from the works of art of tradition that still dwelled in the system of fine arts, and had to be identified by beauty) we call work of aura.

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Maurizio Ferraris
Università degli Studi di Torino

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