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Contemporary communication - Essay Example

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Duchamp & Semiotics ALC101 - CONTEMPORARY COMMUNICATION: Making Sense of Text, Image and Meaning Submitted by: Date: 05/17/2011 Duchamp, Marcel Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2. [French: Nu descendant un escalier n° 2] (1912) oil on canvas, 147 cm ? 89.2 cm (57 ft 7/8 in ?…
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Contemporary communication

Download file to see previous pages... The way Duchamp transfers the meanings of his own personal philosophy of art to the audience is characteristic of an approach to social semiotics that views art as a communication between subjectivities, with the object as a focal point for the transference to occur. By first deconstructing perception and the perspective of the traditional artist through cubism, Duchamp then further deconstructs the fundamentals of the artist-viewer exchange in order to become a master of symbolic communication in the exchange of meaning. The artist Duchamp acts as a psychologist in practicing semiotics as a way of interpreting the integration of science, art, philosophy, mysticism, and technology into the self-awareness of the modern individual. Art in Duchamp’s expression must first represent the subjectivity inherent in the artists’ vision which may be done stylistically or conceptually. In representing two types of vision, he also represented two types of thinking, the analytical and the romantic. In this primal duality, he could also posit the masculine and feminine symbolically. Thus, social semiotics is constructed through the artist’s own motivations to communicate a personal mythology, giving cause to subjective style and distinctive articulation. The artistic method was a means to bridge this duality for the artist, but to communicate ideas effectively the audience’s perspective also must enter art in concept, and with this semiotic interpretation is created. Calvin Tomkins, Duchamp's biographer, in 1996 writes: “Duchamp had always maintained that his Glass was not just something to be looked at but ‘an accumulation of ideas,’ in which verbal elements were at least as important as visual ones, perhaps even more so... As Duchamp would say in a 1959 interview, he had ‘tried in that big Glass to find a completely personal and new means of expression; the final product was to be a wedding of mental and visual reactions; in other words, the ideas in the Glass were more important than the actual visual realization.’” (Gerrard, 2000) In the context of social semiotics, Duchamp creates the conceptual in art as his message and his theme lies inherent in the art object, furthering his experiments with form. From this and developments in dada, the entire Western art world is transformed philosophically and methodologically by these advances in semiotic interpretation. This transformation also takes place in Cubism with relation to the artist’s own relation to his own subjectivity. The mind of the artist and his/her perception is most personally shared in cubist painting. Yet, in comparison to dada, Cubism has not fully explored the relationship between the artist and audience inherent in semiotic interpretation. The distinction between the privacy of the artist and what he or she makes public through the art object also relates to the duality of the analytical and the romantic. The analytical is taken to be objective in expression, where the romantic is inherently personal, as in the relationship between humans privately. As Andrew Stafford writes in Making Sense of Duchamp: “The Large Glass is a picture of the unseen forces that shape human erotic activity — the realm of ego, desire, and other mysteries. To represent these psychological and existential abstractions, Duchamp created a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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