On our fourth architectour we visited Dresden. Here is a group photograph.
I want to show some photographs of Dresden after being bombed by Great Britain and the United States in the second world war.
Now look at some of the same buildings after being rebuilt in their previous style.
Below is a Synagogue.
One theme came to mind while observing the scale and magnificence of the central architectural tourist traps in Dresden — power. What tremendous power and wealth must have been exerted to create such gigantic structures.
Statues were also used to communicate cultural greatness.
The last interesting analytical theme I want to bring up is that of artistic reproduction, through the photograph and the drawing. What is obvious about the photograph is that it has become the emblem of worship replacing tactile interaction. People photograph art instead of experiencing it. All of the below cameras were used to capture an intriguing building. But no one walked around, or touched, or attempted to physically interact with the building. Instead, people walked by, pulled out their cameras, and took pictures. Many years from now they will ritually look over the photo and try to remember their experiences, but they will only recall what is represented in their photograph. (For deeper theoretical perspective check out Walter Benjamin's The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction or a video by John Berger called Ways of Seeing.)
I also observed a street illustrator. In a plaza he sat and quickly sketched the famous buildings. I think this presents an interesting situation, whereby the artist receives income and distributes sketches. But his sketch style is designed to be quickly reproduced. The drawing's new purpose is to generate income for the artist and fashion for the tourist. Is something lost when art is produced in this way? Are these sketches art?