Auras

Featuring work from Angela Bacon-Kidwell, Amelia Baur, Rebecca Drolen, Carly Matthew, Rebecca McGentrick, And ELIN O'HARA SLAVICK.

Walter Benjamin wrote extensively in the '30s about the loss of an artwork’s aura in an age of mass reproduction. An aura is defined as a sensory experience of distance between the reader and the work of art. At its core, photography is a reproducible medium and therefore under scrutiny for its ability to maintain an aura. Benjamin believed a work of art could only retain authenticity as an original, but in later writings teetered between whether mass reproduction was liberating or oppressing a work’s reliance on aura. What is the original state of a photograph-the negative or digital file? It is exciting to speculate what Benjamin would write about art in the age of social media inundated with screens. 

Despite photography consistently being relied upon for its validity or truth, it is still prone to great spectacle. A photograph is deemed true only from the angle of which it was made. At any other angle, extensive artifice would reveal itself and break down a credibly real photograph. The photographer attempts to maintain truth or evoke uncertainty of legitimacy through calculated inclusion and exclusion within their frame. Mass reproduction is often condemned for the loss of both authenticity and aura.

Auras features work by Angela Bacon-Kidwell, Amelia Baur, Rebecca Drolen, Elin O’ Hara Slavick, Carly Matthew, and Rebecca McGetrick that emanate aura or question authenticity using vastly different methods. The impact of the work is not lost when reproduced infinitely on your screen.