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Cultural theory and images - Essay Example

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When looked at without cognizant of the title or the context in which they were made, the range of possible meanings contained in them grows. Take, say, the imaged titled Egon…
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Cultural theory and images
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Download file to see previous pages This view is all the more plausible considering the visibility of only four fingers and the lack of symmetry between the two sides of the face – features that are characteristic of leprosy. The cultural background of the viewer will also bear on the impression gathered, for leprosy as a deadly disease is more common in tropical and sub-tropical climes. So, for a European-Caucasian viewer, the painting might speak of acute and terminal stages of tuberculosis. Equally credible is the interpretation that the depiction is that of a survivor in war, with his countenance damaged by a bomb blast.
The picture titled Duck/Rabbit, 1899 is quite interesting. For those now aware of the title, the first impression might be either that of a duck or a rabbit but not both. The observer, upon identifying the duck, might go on to study the finer details of the image, in terms of the size and shape of the brush strokes used. He/she might also look at the black and white contrast effectively employed by the painter. The same is applicable to the viewer who sees the rabbit first. But only upon disclosure of the title Duck/Rabbit would the viewer be pressed to find the other animal embedded within. The cultural background of the viewer is bound to have a negligible effect on perception, for the subject is relatively simple and straightforward. The genius of the painter lay not so much in cultural sensibilities as in the clever imaginative conception of the mirror effect between the two animals.
The image Weegee, Their First Murder, 1941 is quite complex, in that, each individual in the photo gives a different expression. Some flinch as if in pain, while other show a hint of a smile, and some others just show curiosity, making singular interpretation a arduous task. The only adult in the image is the elegantly dressed lady, other are boys and girls of varying ages. But based on the dressing and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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