Vol 4(2), Dec 2017

“Studies in Visual Arts and Communication –
an international journal”

Volume 4 – Nr 2, 2017
Cristina Moraru, Associated editor

Table of Contents

December 2017; 4(2)

1. Joanna Kędra, PhD, postdoctoral researcher, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä

Does the journalistic photograph need a context?  Rethinking contextual interpretation
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2017 4(2)

In times when photojournalists experiment with various forms of visual production and journalistic photographs are disseminated not only in the press, but at the photography festivals and in museums, the question about the role of context in photography interpretation should be revisited. Thus, this study provides critical review of the contextual interpretation of journalistic images, focusing on the production, medium and page context. The context of production is discussed here by referring to the quantitative content analysis and iconological context analysis. The context of medium determines the perception of photographs and provides a particular page context, usually limited to the caption. The critical evaluation of contextual studies of journalistic images leads to the conclusion that “picture plus text” is not the only option for the photography interpretation. The proposed solution is to use intertextuality as an approach, especially useful for visual education. Intertextuality is based on the claim that each text and photograph is a quotation from other texts. Hence, the viewer interprets journalistic photographs from the angle of their own cultural background, visual competence, and experience. This kind of interpretation may, however, lead to unpredictable and surprising results, and thus, not please traditional way of thinking about journalistic images.

Keywords: caption; context; interpretation; intertextuality; journalistic photograph; page context; visual education

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2. Tomi S. Melka, Independent researcher

Chronicle from Hell: An Analysis of Wayne Douglas Barlowe’s Concept Art
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2017 4(2)

Inferno: the name itself is premonitory and sinister enough to recognize the realm we are about to tread in. One of the works of W. D. Barlowe bears such title. The skill and insight in conceiving, illustrating and charting the abode of the infamous has produced a visual masterpiece.

The drawings – overall appealing and intelligent in detail, coloring, and perception; earnest and haunting in handling the portraits and backgrounds; with many bizarrely and intriguingly fantastic twist – often accrue to high-resolution prints, making us question if the author indeed braced himself, visited the place and took pictures there over a long week. The result, being most of the time an unadulterated hell.

The author of Inferno and of the companion Brushfire follows a tradition of other known prototypes in mythology, art, philosophy or literature, such as Duat / Ammit in the pharaonic Egypt; the Jewish Sheol / Ge-Hinnom; the Old Greek Hades / Tartarus; the Roman Infernus / Avernus; Xibalbá of ancient K’iche Mayas; the Norse Niflheim; Dante Alighieri; Hieronymus Bosch; John Milton; Emanuel Swedenborg; William Blake; John Martin; Gustav Doré… Each mentioned example set a model in their time, some echoing over centuries more than the others.

This paper focuses on the analysis and interpretation of W. D. Barlowe’s visuals, creativity and communicative strength. Heuristic samples from other areas of art, history and culture or from other geographies remind us that his renderings – metaphorical, imaginative and most unique, eventually – cannot be secluded from the age-old blights of power abuse, ego inflation and lack of empathy, sado-masochism and moral corruption.

Rich in pigments, shapes, symbols, psychology and sharp conciseness, the visuals earn Wayne D. Barlowe the status of an accomplished artist able to strike a raw nerve and fascinate at the same time.

Keywords: damnation, evil, major and minor demons, Hell, lost souls, Lucifer, vast architecture, visual art

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3. Daniel Felix da Costa Júnior, PhD candidate in Doctoral Program of Language Studies, Fluminense Federal University, Brazil

Intersemiotic Relations Through The Bias Of Semi-Symbolism And Oppositional Geometry: The Nocturnal Inspiration
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2017 4(2)

The study of intertextualities presents specific inquiries regarding interart relations. One of these refers to the correspondence of intersemiotic translation/transposition. The present study analyzes two texts from different semiotic systems (painting and music) that are related as “text of origin” and “motivated text”: The Night Watch, by the painter Rembrandt, and Nachtmusik I, by the conductor Gustav Mahler. The theoretical/methodological procedure focuses on the concept of semi-symbolism, amplifications of the traditional square of oppositions, and the musical semiotics of tonal melodies. Considering the respective differences between music and painting, similarities were observed between the content and the expression. The general proposal is that, in the above mentioned type of intertextual relation, at least one of the several relations that exist between both levels must be identifiable as similar case in the text of origin. An interart relation hypercube is produced through an equivalence approximation with formal logic, which allows the visualization of relations between the two levels of both texts. The intention of the results of the present analysis is to contribute towards the detection of deep intertextual relations.

Keywords: intersemiotic translation; semi-symbolism; oppositional geometry; painting; music.

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4. Flaviana Xavier Antunes Sampaio, State University of Southwestern Bahia, Brazil

Flexible surfaces: shadow as a continuum of dancers
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2017 4(2)

This paper presents the results of experimentation with light and shadow drawn from my practice-led PhD in Dance. I worked with three volunteer dancers to examine interactions between dancers and their shadows projected on the floor surface. In his book, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque, Gilles Deleuze (2006) developed a study on folds and surfaces linked with time and space. I use this theory to propose the idea that the shadows of dancers projected on the floor suggest an extension of their bodies. Images depicted in photographs illustrate key discussions of this article.

The experimentation was based on instructions given to the dancers. I directed them via verbal, textual and image stimuli to improvise movements in space. Verbal stimulus involved asking participants to move in a specific way and to a specific location in relation to a single light, which happened in parallel with textual and visual stimuli. Textual stimuli included small texts taken from the book Seeing Dark Things: The Philosophy of Shadows by American philosopher Roy Sorensen (2011). The image stimulus was combined by photos of a person’s shadow, a sphere’s shadow, and Origami Shadow, a shadow work by Kumi Yamashita (2011). This paper depicts methods of creating shadow from dancers that can be used as a choreographic content.

Keywords: dance, light, shadow, surface, interaction, space

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5. Megan Toye, PhD candidate at York University, Canada

At a Loss for Words: Aphasic Affects in Imogen Stidworthy’s I Hate… (2007)
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2017 4(2)

This paper explores the intersection between speech therapy, multimedia installation art and phenomenological approaches to empathy. Taking as a case study contemporary artists that are engaging with individuals who suffer from aphasia (a communication disorder caused by brain damage or stroke that reduces one’s ability to speak or use words coherently), this paper will probe in detail how the current collaborative work being published by phenomenologists and cognitive scientists (Fuchs and DeJagher) can nuance current theorizations of empathetic spectatorship in contemporary media art while also being of benefit to research on aphasic speech therapy. Analyzing the aesthetic practices of artists Imogen Stidworthy and Ann Hamilton in particular, I will argue that the fields of speech therapy, media art, and phenomenology speak to each other in mutually beneficial ways by bringing to the fore the primary role the body plays in fostering intersubjective communication and social understanding.

Keywords: media art, communication disorders, phenomenology, spectatorship, voice studies

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