• Ideas
  • Jul 22, 2011

Book Blog: Multiplicity

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine spotted a young woman strolling down Graham Avenue in Brooklyn wearing a homemade T-shirt depicting Walter Benjamin's seminal work The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936). I found this story hilarious on several levels, one being that since the T-shirt was homemade and seen worn in Brooklyn, it must be ironic. For those unfamiliar, the gist of Benjamin's essay is that the rise of reproduction of artwork would lead to the inevitable decrease in the art's worth. He was on target in the sense that the exact opposite happened: The more an artwork is reproduced, the higher its value is.

This week's Book Blog, Multiplicity: Prints and Multiples from the Collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art and the University of Wollongong explores the history and significance of reproduced art. They cleverly made the dust jacket into a pulled out poster, a reproduction of Marie McMahon's 1978 Keep Warm This Winter —Make Trouble!!

Peeling it open.