I had made plans to make this video, or one like it, as a test in using a specific video manipulation tool, but at the same time was re-reading Walter Benjamen's 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction' when I came to section XII of this text and read that "Mechanical Reproduction of art changes the reaction of the masses toward art." This section immediately made me think of the history of the Sistine Chapel, and how the ways in which it is perceived have changed several times in this age of mechanical reproduction. "The simultaneous contemplation of painting by a large public, such as developed in the nineteenth century," began with the advent of photography and works such as the Sistine Ceiling were made available to larger audiences then ever before and it was found that the "individual reactions are predetermined by the mass audience response." I find that this ceiling has in a way a relationship to film and video in its methods of conveying a story and movement and depth all at once all over the image, yet, certain parts of the composition are over emphasized by audiences, especially that of Adam reaching out and almost touching the hand of god. Benjamin says that "The greater the decrease in the social significance of an art form, the sharper the distinction between criticism and enjoyment by the public. The conventional is uncritically enjoyed, and the truly new is criticized with aversion." obviously the Sistine Chapel was not new when it was first photographed and large scale audiences first began to view it across the world. It had already been placed into a wide history and was conventional and uncritically enjoyed. Yet, this was changed with the large scale restoration of the chapel starting in the 1980s, which revealed details and a color pallet that was nothing like it had been seen and photographed as for years. suddenly this work emerged truly new once again and criticism began as to the effects this restoration had on the work and that it may have been unnaturally altered it forever. For as many detail's as were revealed in this restoration, it was criticized for losing and forever altering the intended final image that Michelangelo had conceived. My work here is as much an exercise in image manipulation in video as it is conceptually about the acts of altering an image historically and thus fitting it into a new generations. Whether it was the act of photographing or a large scale restoration, both had changed the next generations perception of this ceiling forever.

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