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For Art Humanities class - Assignment Example

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Name Class Professor 3 October 2012 Desire and Gender in Camille’s “Gothic Signs” In “Gothic Signs and the Surplus: The Kiss on the Cathedral,” Camille explores the position of desire in medieval culture through examining different kinds of “kisses.” He argues that images in various forms of media, because they are embedded in sign systems that vary for every individual, can result to “surpluses,” or extra definitions and implications that the makers did not originally plan to create…
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Download file to see previous pages... Other images show kissing between married people as unclean, even when legalized by the matrimony. Though kissing can have other meanings, such as the kiss of peace and the mythical kiss, the Church related kissing to immorality because of its physical gratification aspect. The author presents a compelling argument regarding the treatment of desire in the medieval times. His use of descriptive language specifically helped understand the meaning of kissing images in art and literature. His analyses offer insight on how the Church used the dichotomy between right/wrong, and spirit/body, to further divide the male and female gender and ascribe inferiority to the latter. Thus, kissing has been connected to sin, where the female sex invokes sin among men. This shows that women were characterized as temptresses, whose whorish abilities must be controlled and fought. The Production of the Orient in Said’s “Orientalism” In “Orientalism,” Said argues that the Orient is a product of European imagination and demand for domination through imperialism. He stresses that Europe gains from defining the Orient as “the Other” because it justifies its control over its people and resources. Furthermore, when Said talks of Orientalist discourse, he pertains to socio-economic and political institutions that reinforce Eurocentricism. Orientalist discourse is not about the Orient as its natives believe it to be, but how Britain, France, and America want to see and discuss the Orient. The difference between what is and what the powers want something to be is related to Camille’s analysis of the Kiss. The Church thinks that the Kiss is inherently evil because of its sexual consequences. In the same line of thinking, Said sees Orientalism as man-made, specifically, produced by imperialist rulers. They manufactured Orientalism for their own purposes, in the same way that the Church generates images of the kiss for its own intentions. The Church and the white empires both want to control people through their literature and arts. They similarly impose their will on the powerless, so that the former can maintain and expand their powers. Like Camille, Said performs a visual analysis on Orientalist literature. These images indicate the loss of the Orient to the much more powerful and superior West. Thus, Said argues that the West did not only control the Orient through its political structures, but more so, through shaping its cultural norms and symbols. Not Fury, but Calmness in Freud’s “The Moses of Michelangelo” In Totem, Taboo, and other Works, Freud interprets the Moses statue of Michelangelo in his essay, “The Moses of Michelangelo.” He disregards common artistic interpretations that Moses is about to spring into action and the tablets are almost slipping from his left hand. Instead, he believes more in the analysis of Thode, that by virtue of Moses’s position in an array of sculptures and the actual muscle tensions in his body, Moses is in a state of perpetual wrath, but not ready to perform any immediate action. Freud thinks that Moses is not preserved for a historical event, but as a character whose experiences have aroused inner feelings of anger and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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