Image Studies

Image Studies

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KEYWORDS: Wittgenstein’s Hieroglyphics / Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction


WITTGENSTEIN’S HIEROGLYPHICS  Wittgenstein, in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922), considers language as a pictorial medium and suggests that the ‘proposition’ is akin to hieroglyphic script, as it pictures the facts it describes. Mitchell (1986, p.29) calls this Wittgenstein’s ‘picture theory of language’. The subject of the hieroglyph has since been taken up by postmodern scholars such as Jaques Derrida, in his Of Grammatology (first published in French in 1967).

WORK OF ART IN THE AGE OF MECHANICAL REPRODUCTION is an essay written by Walter Benjamin in 1936, at a time of great technical development in the fields of photography and film. The essay is widely read and continues to be influential across the humanities, especially in the fields of cultural studies, media theory, and art history. Benjamin discusses concepts of authenticity, and the effect of reproduction on the original.


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