Ten of Walter Benjamin’s essays which appeared after his tragic death.
Walter Benjamin was a philosopher, an art theorist, a critic and writer. His essay “The Work of Art in the Era of Mechanical Production” became crucial to understanding the new conditions for the existence of art in industrial society.
Essays by Walter Benjamin devoted to the problems of the museum, the history of art, authenticity and other topics are collected in the book “New Works”. They were all written in the period between 1986 and 2013. It was in 1986, fifty years after his death, that thanks to a talented hoax, Walter Benjamin again appeared in public. He gave the lecture “Mondrian ’63-‘96” organised by the Marxist Centre in Ljubljana. The text of this lecture is the opening chapter of the book “New Works” which included, as well as Benjamin’s essay, an interview with Benjamin.
Instead of seeing art history as a single History, it should be seen as one of the many histories, and artwork should be understood as an artifact, the product of a certain type of western culture that emerged in the Enlightenment and finally came into its own after romanticism. Then the art museum will become an ethnographic museum.