Kenneth Frampton—A Commodifying Effect of Modernism on Art

Until recently, the received precepts of modern curatorial practice favored the exclusive use of artificial light in all art galleries. It has perhaps been insufficiently recognized how this encapsulation tends to reduce the artwork to a commodity, since such an environment must conspire to render the work placeless. This is because the local light spectrum is never permitted to play across its surface: here, then, we see how the loss of aura, attributed by Walter Benjamin to the processes of mechanical reproduction, also arises from a relatively static application of universal technology.

Frampton, K. (1983) ‘Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance’ in Foster, H. (ed.), The anti-aesthetic: essays on postmodern culture, Cambridge (Mass.) and London, 1983, pp. 29–30.

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