Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Thursday, April 2, 2009

more on visual criticism

Following this earlier post, here’s another example of visualized criticism.

so moved

What do the images add to this — what shall we call it — little essay? There aren't many words here. Does that make this analysis superficial? If the space taken up by the images was filled with words instead, would the analysis likely be deeper? What do the images do?

(Utopia isn't a novel, by the way.)

4 comments:

  • Tony Comstock said...

    My reaction to your questions is best expressed through interpretive dance, which I am doing right now, even as I type.

  • The image and the question made me come back three or four times.
    The image provokes the imagination to make more of an effort to mentally incarnate More.
    The sentence beomes more grisly, the disjunction between ideal and reality more marked, the beheading as metaphor for the death of More's ideal more stark.

  • Hmm, thought it was a novel. Anyway...

    My knowledge of More is limited to A Man For All Seasons, and my knowledge of Utopia is limited to the definition of the word, so with that in mind I'll shoot from the hip to answer Alan's question....

    The painting looks to me like an art school student's rendering of classical representations of More which are well known.

    Likewise, the text has the same facile college-y sound to it. Sort of an intellectual whine. Also, the style of script might as well be graffiti on a wall.

    From where I sit the painting unintentionally mocks contemporary society. A fellow like me can't do much more than shake my head in pitiful disregard of the artist. That is, unless the artist comes at contemporary society same way I do in which case I guess I should nod my head in agreement and say 'you got that right.'

  • Alan Jacobs said...

    I would like to respond to such thoughtful comments, but Tony's interpretive dance is EXTREMELY distracting. I think it's all the veils.

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