Week 10, Deconstruction

➢ Language Vs. Language - One is attached to a mode of communication to the point of critiquing a language using that same language. Critiquing a culture being attached to that same culture and its elements.
Example: Yinka Shonibare Victorian Couple

➢ Cultural Constructs - Structures are not deep truths waiting to be discovered, they are cultural constructs. There is no objective universal truth. Subjects do not communicate consistent, intentional, and rational views, and unified meanings that mirror the reality outside them. Binary opposites are the main tools in human constructions of meaning, they are not essential truths. They serve as pieces of an argument for a particular truth. We must question why these constructs are applied, and why they are accepted.
Example: T.S Eliot The Wasteland

➢ Differance - Signifiers and signifieds are not identical they differ from each other and point to other signs to gain meaning. No ultimate truth exists because all truths are based on difference and comparison, not unity.
Example: WWII Propaganda Poster

➢ Meaning & Non-Meaning - Language can simultaneously convey the presence and absence of meaning. What a statement doesn’t say may be as important for interpretation as what it does say. Reading a work means looking at what the artist intends to convey with his language and what his language conveys to us without his intention. A piece gains meaning by how we read the constructs as well as by how they are written.
Example: Fred Wilson Mining the Museum

➢ Irreducibility of Art - Art is the ultimate deconstructor in culture. The variety/differences in art means that it resists totalitarian interpretation and categorization, transcending the concept of sameness and therefore the idea of an underlying presence and of an ultimate truth.
Example: Greg Curnoe View of Victoria Hospital

➢ Ownership - The competition between interpretations of truth in a work brings up the question: to whom does art belong. Does it belong to the subject it represents, the artist who made it, or the viewer?
Example: Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa

➢ Importance of Reception - The effects or meanings of works of art are ultimately in how they relate to those who read them, and not in any innate essence.
Example: Tracy Emin My Bed


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