Nobody downloaded yet

Viewers and Meanings: Barbara Kruger I shop therefore I am - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Viewers and Meanings: Barbara Kruger I shop therefore I am. This paper shows how Barbara Kruger’s striking artwork entitled I shop therefore I am is an example of the phenomenon known as “appropriation” in the world of art. This term implies the selection of ideas and visual elements from existing cultural artifacts, and their re-encoding into a new composition which mixes elements from the past with elements from the contemporary world…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER93.9% of users find it useful
Viewers and Meanings: Barbara Kruger I shop therefore I am
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Viewers and Meanings: Barbara Kruger I shop therefore I am"

Download file to see previous pages rk out rational rather than religious or moral explanations of what it means to be a human being. The idea behind the statement was that the human being’s ability to use logic and reasoning to work things out lies at the very heart of what makes a person what he or she actually is. It stresses the power of the human mind to give meaning to the universe, which otherwise would be an empty place, with no-one to observe it or understand it. There is overlap between this seventeenth century idea, and the modern world, since the whole of science and technology, which so dominates Western culture, is devoted to using the power of reason and observation to gain understanding of the universe, and find applications which are useful for human beings. These values are still very much part of modern life, and they co-exist alongside other explanations, such as religious beliefs about God, creationism and the human condition. The artist’s appropriation turns into an oppositional creation, however, when the artist substitutes the verb “shop” instead of “think.” The knowledgeable viewer will notice immediately that the statement is partly a quotation, and that the verb has been changed. This kind of viewer will appreciate that thinking , especially in the academic sense intended by Descartes, is a high-level, abstract concept, while shopping is a more mundane and superficial activity. Viewers who do not know the original quotation will simply read the surface message, which is to say that shopping has become a major preoccupation in our society, and it has started to define who we are. There may be some viewers, for example wealthy teenagers who have never heard of Descartes, or uneducated people set on acquiring clothes, domestic items and superficial possessions, who recognize how apt the phrase is for their own acquisitive lifestyle, and who approve of it wholeheartedly. The image encourages both of these interpretations, and this shows how cleverly the artist has recognized the cultural shift that has taken place over the last three hundred years. The framing of the statement in white, bold letters on a red rectangle, held in a black and white photograph of a human hand adds a human touch to the main ideas. The thin red outline framing the whole piece suggests the limited color scheme of a tabloid newspaper or magazine, both of which tend to sensationalize events, and reduce them to a snappy and usually extreme conclusion. This reduction to very simple adornment creates maximum impact, and forces attention upon the five words in the upper middle section of the piece. The artist is in fact practising the very art of commercialization that she is questioning in her work, and this can be regarded as irony. The artist’s implied contrast between thinking and shopping amounts to a criticism of the amount of time and resources that goes into creating the capitalist culture that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Viewers and Meanings: Barbara Kruger I shop therefore I am Essay”, n.d.)
Viewers and Meanings: Barbara Kruger I shop therefore I am Essay. Retrieved from
(Viewers and Meanings: Barbara Kruger I Shop Therefore I Am Essay)
Viewers and Meanings: Barbara Kruger I Shop Therefore I Am Essay.
“Viewers and Meanings: Barbara Kruger I Shop Therefore I Am Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Viewers and Meanings: Barbara Kruger I shop therefore I am

I am Woman Synthesis

...and was trying to steal her children from her. The love of Medea was really blind as is evident from her description of her love to Creusa (Euripides, 12). She says, “he spoke again-to me-to me! It seemed as if some God had poisoned me with joy! I raised my eyes to his-I looked-I loved” (Euripides, 12). Medea’s acts in support of her lover, Jason, were so extreme which she recollects in the words, “to arm his valor I must despoil my father-I did so; betray my country-I did so; defy the Gods-I did so” (Euripides, 12). But her courage knew no boundaries once she knew her sacrifices were all in vein. She, with her children,...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Am I A Leader

...? Am I a Leader: An Autobiographical Sketch The essay aims to present an autobiography of how I discover and learned leadership. It also aims to present the different leadership qualities, style, and the comparative differences from a non-leader. Am I A Leader? Discovering Leadership in Me What makes a leader? What are the essential leadership qualities? Is being a leader an inborn trait or does it require time and due process? I really felt admiration for persons who become leaders. It is so amazing to unfold the honing of an exemplary individual who evolved to influence a group of people. I learned of the essential theories to become a leader from the academe and from contemporary experiences. It is one’s personal contention... . In a...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Where Am I Now

...States. Currently, we live in a small, friendly, community in Norwich, Vermont. Our home is on a farm, and we have four horses, four dogs and four children. I am currently working full-time as a graphic designer at a very successful advertising agency in Woodstock, Vermont. In addition, during my free time, I enjoy reading a good book and working out in the gym. Some of my hobbies include skydiving, hiking and horseback riding. One challenging issue for me is the fact that English is my second language. This means that I often have to use an editor in order to make sure that I am writing the words correctly. What many...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Who am I and why am I

...?Ken Suganda Dr. Wayne Kao Psychology 41 15 December Who am I and why am I? There is a clear distinction between the races in the American society. I just moved into Los Angeles, and finally gotten the hang of the whole idea about the classifications that we are given the instant we stepped into this country. My own race had been branded with many stereotypes that I find rather true. I am a Chinese Indonesian and I was brought up in Indonesia for a decade before moving to Singapore for my studies, and then to the United States. In the United States, people do not see me very much as an...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

I Think, Therefore I am

...In his famous Dis on Method the renowned philosopher Ren Descartes originally said in French: "Je pense, donc je suis". This later became popular in its Latin version as "Cogito ergo sum", or, "I Think, Therefore I am." The following quote from his work points out one of the main points he has to stress: "after considering everything very thoroughly, I must finally conclude that the proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind." (AT VII 25; CSM II 16-17) This clearly means that Descartes believed that if and when he was...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

I Think, Therefore I Kant

...are an "attempt to vindicate universal moral principles without reference to preferences or to a theological framework" (p. 184). Kants approach to ethics is important and I often do act in accordance with it. There is a sense of moral right and wrong that transcends our own personal world. However, the problem becomes in defining what is morally correct. Making someone happy by offering charity may be the morally correct thing to do and also be driven by external forces. Our free will only extends to the point that our judgement allows it to be free. To pursue an outcome by any means can be an infringement on someone elses rights or well being. Our actions must be considerate of the consequences of...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay


...7 February The Seven “I Am” ments of John The opening chapters of the Book of John describe the ministry of God by means of John’s discerning employment of the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus Christ, as well as the seven discourses. From the aloof, lifeless, and drained way of man’s religious conviction towards an active and jubilant relationship humanity is saved by the grace of God, not through our individual pointless works, into His unbelievable nurture and provision. Christians who contend of the Lord as merely an illustrious man who in no way alleged to be God need to challenge His startling statements to the Scribes and Pharisees of Jerusalem...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Viewers and Meanings: Barbara Kruger I shop therefore I am for FREE!

Contact Us