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Photography Essays – Art work and Media

20. 01. 2018

Photography Essays – Artwork and Media

Disclaimer: This essay provides been submitted by a student. This is not a good example of the work written by our professional essay authors.

Any opinions, results, conclusions or suggestions expressed in this material happen to be those of the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of UK Essays.

Using examples, discuss the partnership between fine art and the mass media.

Introduction: The relationship between art and mass media is definitely heavily symbiotic, a fact acknowledged only relatively just lately, with the ironic wink of “pop” art in the fifties, but even so the connection has always been present and empowering to both “high” tradition and society’s consumers. Customer culture and art have got invaded each other’s territories to the main point where it is becoming impossible, at times, to tell them apart. The HBO tv series, Sex and the town, for example, might be art reflecting existence, or art informing life, or both, or neither – so many of the signifiers we use to recognise art, so many of the cause and effect associations we got for granted, have grown to be indistinguishable.

On a theoretical level, the media has amplified artistic causes, for better or for worse, and sometimes where awful is anticipated, the mass media has been second-guessed or hijacked. On a sensible level, types of media broadcast have very much in common with art forms, allowing for overlaps and ironic jokes, since modern technologies allow neatly replicable sign devices- the mass media is usually a hegemony, and iconography reproduces itself almost everywhere we look.

One a reaction to the standardization of imagery and the new lexicon of iconography arrived in the kind of Pop skill. Ironically, of training, Warhol’s replicable paintings own an iconographic currency almost all their own. By the 1970s pockets of subversion were appearing everywhere. Press activists called it “customs jamming”, the Situationist International called it “detournement” (“a great insurrectional style where a past form is employed to show its inherent untruth”) the Pistols known as it Punk. But it was basically the same. Culture jamming can be utilized to describe a wide range of subversive activity, from the work of graffiti performers to the radical ‘refacement’ of billboards by the Billboard Liberation Entrance, to pirate radio broadcasts. It really is, essentially, an attempt to task the authority of the media through innovative, and generally open public, acts of resistance.

Adbusters magazine employs culture jamming as its manifesto, transforming it right into a social movement with the revolutionary goal of “toppl[ing] existing electricity structures and forg[ing] a major rethinking of the way we live in the 21st century.” Their forceful sloganism, as well as slickness of its style, raises suspicions and criticism. This is the rhetoric of a salesman, and there would certainly look like a contradiction between its anti-advertising objectives and its image-based editorial strategies. Nevertheless this is the first-time that magazines have genuinely subjectified the graphic, and a magazine which isn’t just about design but also a beautiful piece of craft itself, seems to sidestep the theoretical issue of hypocrisy, somehow.

„The issue of design today is that it’s more fascinated by the visual, as a realistic imitation or decoration, rather than by the photo as a subjective narrative and interpretive aspect. As a result of its internal dialogue, even so, the image is greater than a perception. It is a necessary building on the brink of fiction, that reveals the dialectic of representation and presentation.“

Rick argues that the once homogeneous discipline of graphical design has “begun to split up into two distinctive strands”. On one aspect there is normally professional practice in every its varieties; on the other a field which he conditions “design-culture graphics”. This territory is usually inhabited by designers undertaking their private, often self-initiated issue: publishing books and magazines, starting websites, and building and selling T-t-shirts, posters, DVDs, etc. He refers to Adrian Shaughnessy’s observations in April 2003’s Creative Assessment magazine: “Stylistically it is often radical, adventurous or even downright purposeless.”

The curious aspect of this claim may be the suggestion that the divide features only happened. Looking back to Morris and Ruskin, once again, we see an extraordinary sort of proto-punk for the middle classes, even at the turn of the century. More recently, the division became a genuine social cleave, instead of an ideological passionate whimsy, with the brand new wave that implemented punk in the past due 1970s. Designers such as for example Brody, Saville, Malcolm Garrett, Rocking Russian and 23 Envelope were so notable because, not only did they shun the mainstream where designers would once own expected to find are a matter of study course, nonetheless they also produced the most inventive and durable British graphic design of the period. Their audience was additional young people.

In Britain today, a vast number of youthful designers emerge from style schools and art colleges today with no intention of becoming a member of design’s mainstream. People today want expressing their individualism within their work and the very thought of a little, informal collective started by a group of friends is actually attractive as it’s a sort of extension of student life.

Graphic design played a significant role as a tool of empowerment for those whose fringe position was much less of a choice, also – it gave voice to ladies and articulating their considerations. The suffragette’s contribution to the annals of graphic design has been intriguing. Unlike the emancipatory and utopic eyesight of the modernist motion, the images of the women’s movement never approved to a unifying aesthetic dogma. When observed in conjunction with other sociable and counter-cultural movements that became symbolic of a particular stylistic representation, what is notable about the women’s activity is its insufficient stylistic unity. While this wasn’t intentional strategy, it practically increased resistance to commodification.

Much of today’s skill is conceptually complex enough to reflect both skill and life, quite often anticipating its responses. The characters in Sex and the City, the ultimate show about and as a result of commodification, consistently acknowledge social expectation, whether or not it has become their raison d’etre to buck those anticipations. When the character Charlotte expresses regrets about not working it shows that she has internalized the message that she should function. When she accuses Miranda of judging her she exclaims,

„You imagine I’m among those women . . . One of those females we hate who simply just works until she gets married!“ In this article, Charlotte reveals her individual view that women ought to be independent, demonstrating that she herself is normally conflicted. Her assertion has feminist undertones, since it implies that females who change their lives, or who are mainly oriented to attracting a husband, sacrifice themselves and compromise their identities- appropriately, as this is specifically the fate the scriptwriters have in store for her.

Charlotte’s focus on the “choice” security as a feminist case is an oversimplification and apa format essay example a misinterpretation of liberal feminist goals, although it still promotes the critical sentiment that females are varied, and that one woman’s decision of what to do with her overall body or her life ought to be in her hands, in spite of what her friends, family, or society dictates.But, concurrently it highlights some of the problems associated with liberal feminism as a point of view and its own frequent misappropriation by women- and perhaps, in this case, the Sex and the town scriptwriters.

Liberal feminism is founded on the idea that dissimilarities between people cannot be explained by biology and thus differential treatment can be unjust. The idea is that people should be regarded as individuals, rather than identified first as women or men, and should thus manage to make decisions based on what is best for the individual. As Montemurro has written,

“In this episode of Sex and the City, when Charlotte refers to the women’s motion, she seems to be referring to the theory that women have already been „liberated“ or freed from the constraints of patriarchy and are able to work and attain success at levels very similar to those attained by men. Thus, she’s the right to decide for herself exactly what will make her happy and satisfied as a person. If she chooses not to work, then she actually is not succumbing to traditional feminine expectations; rather, she actually is doing what she views as right for her and thus she should not be judged for this.”

She goes on to point out that few women have the ability to make this choice. But the whole debate about choice can be located in the context of oppression; in Montemurro’s terms, “Charlotte’s choice is predicated on other women’s lack of choices”. Furthermore, Charlotte possibly states that „Trey advised“ she stay at home, hinting that the theory to stop working has not come directly from her. The criticism of feminism’s reactive quality applies here: her decision could be “her perogative” but it isn’t solely hers, and the precise choice she’s(n’t) made means the “choice” (either to remain in the home or not) that all women make, with its attendant vulnerability to accusations of reactiveness and passivity. As Montemurro suggests, Charlotte’s powerful, wealthy husband has delivered the choice to her “as a gift idea of sorts, as though to say, „I give you permission to stay home,“ and Charlotte fails to acknowledge that her decision is made possible simply by her subsequent economical dependence on her husband.”

Charlotte’s assertion that “the woman’s motion is about choice” is played out as distastefully comical, distasteful not least as the scriptwriters are conveying 1 of 2 equally dangerous text messages. Either they are communicating they notion that it is satisfactory lipservice to feminism to provide these issues crass and simplistic treatment, or they are expressing Charlotte’s charming naivety through

the incidental take note of a “feminist” token. It really is as though she believes that any decision- motherhood, career, or going for a cooking category, is of equal worth, as the decision is coming from herself. It is a claim manufactured cynically by the media and advertisers, specifically made to manipulate women who believe themselves to come to be independent into buying items that appeal to their vanity- products sold on graphic representations of self-indulgence, selling the irresistible proven fact that women are wallowing in low self-value and should have to “treat themselves.”

Women’s liberation is becoming suspect precisely as a result of this bastardization: the theory that “free decision” includes “bad choices”, that female freedom may be the exact carbon copy of justified narcissism.

Increasingly products, weight reduction and fashion have been artificially presented as helps to a deserving woman’s betterment, spending “feminist” strategies of “improvement” as their advertising point- yet feminists concur that all such strategies only help women to participate in their development as subservient, imperfect, and generally oppressed. Her infertility is treated with same astonishing crassness, as Tara Flockhart points out,

“The infertility of Charlotte…excruciatingly painful affliction, is at first mocked by suggesting that she sublimates her emotional pain in affection on her behalf dog (the pet, not the man, in her life)”

Of course it is not merely feminine “issues” which will be levied by the media. According to feminist artist and article writer Laura Mulvey, the feminine form is still a battleground for looking at conventions, and it is a battle where, for the most part, media images and visible art are on a single side. For Mulvey, the challenge may be the equivalence of the female form with desire – as long as the male body is not seen as desirable, men stay in control of desire and the activity of looking. It appears to be a generally held assumption that points are improving, but I would suggest, the male overall body is additional prominently “objectified” by the mass media nowadays not as a symptom of female control over the gaze but as the result of the integration of the gay male gaze into the mainstream. That is rapidly overtaking the surge of girls, and these sites of homosexual desire aren’t replacing images of girls but are appearing alongside them. It is no improvement at all. Most images of attractive male bodies in the press today aren’t the consequence of feminist struggle for equality, but merely more men, gay men, expressing their own wishes in public.

Virtually almost everywhere in Hollywood (not to mention the internet, TV, magazines, the High Street) we locate Freud’s notion of “scopophilia” – the pleasure involved with looking at additional people’s bodies as erotic items. Mulvey has created extensively on viewing conventions as she perceives them to be facilitated by the cinema auditorium itself. The darkness of the picture-house offers a unique public environment where we might look without being experienced either by those on display screen by other associates of the audience. Mulvey details how specific cinema viewing conditions facilitate for the viewer both voyeuristic procedure for objectification of female personas and also the narcissistic procedure for identification with an ‘great ego’ noticed on the display screen.

There would be no post-modernist art responses to the mass media, of training, without the massively influential modernist motion that rocked the universe at the move of the century. Long before the Sex and the City girls, modernism aimed to expose „traditional society“ as uncovered as something fraudulent. The exponents of the present day aimed showing that nostalgia was fallacious: the unity of a golden years had by no means existed. The modernists just ever wished to present reality as it was. Since social, political, religious, artistic suggestions had been incorporated into this false order, that they had to be included into any true reworking of it. It was modernism that impressed after us the idea that narrative direction- that a story should have a start, middle and end was nothing more than an opiate, artifice grafted onto random living to develop illusions of consistency.


The relationship between media and types of art is of lessons not completely co operative. The mass media has been comprehended as the servant of capitalist world, and fine art, as the archetypal “free thought” its healthy enemy. Historically, art’s work to lower capitalist structures from within have already been very ill-fated, with performers finding themselves overlooked, scorned, crushed or – most likely worse- components to political agendas. Performers and authors must work harder than ever before to devise means of opposing or exposing capitalism’s deceptions, but many commentators may actually have reached the conclusion that the struggle is barely worthwhile fighting. Jean Baudrillard argues that criticism of the position quo is no more possible through art work or literature and that the only efficient method of dissenting from capitalist society is certainly to commit suicide,

„Modern artwork wishes to be adverse, critical, ground breaking and a perpetual surpassing, along with immediately (or practically) assimilated, accepted, integrated, consumed. One must surrender to the evidence: art no more contests anything. If it ever before did. Revolt is normally isolated, the malediction consumed.“

Thus the avant-garde actions in Europe put the artist under pressure to exhibit a particular individuality, while also – rather contradictorily- being a maker, and as prolific, political and reactionary a maker as possible,

„You will find a large amount of talk, not about reform or forcing the Enlightenment task to live up to its ideals, but about wholesale negation, revolution, another innovative sensibility, nowadays self- affirming or self-creating, rather than a universalist or rational self-legitimation. Therefore implies a tremendously heightened part for the artist, the physique whose imagination supposedly creates or forms the sensibilities of civilization“.

In a sense, the avant-garde offers been socially commissioned to forecast the future, to scouting out brand-new intellectual terrain,

„Aesthetic modernity is seen as a attitudes which locate a common concentration in a changed consciousness of period… The avant-garde understands itself as invading unfamiliar territory, exposing itself to the risks of abrupt, shocking encounters, conquering an up to now unoccupied future. The avant-garde must locate a direction in a landscape into which no one seems to have yet ventured“

Modernity saw its position as declaring its fragmentary simple fact, its building, or the development of the universe or idea it aimed to represent. As one writer says,

“A typical modernist story will seem to be to begin arbitrarily, advance inexplicably, and end without resolution. Symbols and images are being used rather than statements. The tone is ironic and understated-mocking of some of its characters or elements that still seem to be to appeal to the idea of coherent reality. On the other hand, many modernist functions are organized as quests for the coherence they seem to lack. As the quest is an extremely mythological concept, a whole lot of modernist writers go back to and rewrite myths of the universe into their works. Often the religious on myths (such as for example Christianity) is apparently exposed as a farce and a fraud-that is normally, as myth rather than objective reality.”

Without Modernism’s undertake the press, its distaste with press stereotypes, there would be no ironic art forms, and without Surrealism’s wonderful achievement, its capability to assimilate its patterns hence entirely into our unconscious that its images have become part of us, without this we would have no impressive, delicious, advertising no self-perpetuating consumer world. It is aware our dreams, but it addittionally is aware of our nightmares. Surrealism could be the triumphant rebellious kid of modern art, nonetheless it is the heir of capitalist culture. As one writer puts reaction paper format it,

“Historically, surrealism was an art movement of suggestions that developed between Universe Wars I and II and was extremely prolific. Nevertheless, today the viewer automatically accepts surrealist imagery. It’s almost everywhere we look. One will discover surrealism in children’s literature, on tv, in advertisements, music video lessons, movies and any other type of mass media. Today an individual can see examples of surrealism everywhere without consciously noting that one is normally seeking at a surreal graphic”


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