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Objects and Meaning

Wunderkammer:

Andrea Peach Stage 1 Contextual & Critical Studies

Andreas Gursky 99 Cents, 1999

Andreas Gursky
Atlanta, 1996

Tracey Emin
My Bed, 1998

Kath Kidson 2001

Tim Head State of the Art, 1984

If individual objects are touchstones of current thinking in societies, what are they telling us?

If individual objects are touchstones of current thinking in societies, what are they telling us?

ratonara - Spanish rat trap

The Chapman Family Collection Jake and Dinos Chapman 2002

Wassily Chair Marcel Breuer, 1925 Redesign of Modern Movement Chairs Alessandro Mendini, 1978

Maarten Baas Smoke furniture 2004

Original design: Charles R. Mackintoshs 1902 Hill House 1 chair

Maarten Baas Smoke furniture 2004

Original design: Gerrit T. Rietvelds 1918 Red and Blue chair

Maarten Baas

Hey Chair Be a Bookshelf http://www.maartenbaas.com/


Surrounded by all kinds of objects, Baas created an assemblage, in which all objects gained a new function. A chair became a bookshelf; a lampshade became a vase, a violin a coat rack.

Maarten Baas

Hey Chair Be a Bookshelf http://www.maartenbaas.com/


For this design, Baas collaborates with several second hand stores in the region of Eindhoven, saving products from the rubbish container which could not be sold in the shop. Since the products are always different, every Hey, chair be a bookshelf! is a unique piece.

Cornelia Parker
Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View 1991

Q: When is a sheep not a sheep? A: When its a work of art. Damien Hirst, Away from the Flock, 1994

Toothpicks and Logos John Heskett


Utility and Significance in Everyday Objects

Toothpicks and Logos John Heskett

Even the smallest utilitarian objects are capable of embodying values

Roland Barthes
Mythologies 1957 (1993)

Semiotics Objects as signs

Roland Barthes
Mythologies 1957 (1993)

Semiotics

Citron DS (Desse) - 1955

Roland Barthes
Mythologies 1957 (1993)

Semiotics - the study of signs


Signifier: its physical form (ie: a diamond ring) Signified: the mental concept it refers to (ie: engagement)

Roland Barthes
Mythologies 1957 (1993)

Every object in the world can

pass from a closed, silent


existence to an oral state

What are increasingly


produced are not material objects, but signs Roland Barthes

Perfume = signfier Physical Allure = signified

Roland Barthes
Mythologies 1957 (1993)

a photograph will be a kind of speech for us in the same way as a newspaper article; even objects will become speech

Jeans = signfier Beauty = signified

What are increasingly produced are not material objects, but signs
Roland Barthes

Polo = signfier Strength = signified

Tamagotchi

Tamagotchi

Becoming familiar with something but in a way that keeps changing.

Whats it about?

Is your understanding of it ever fixed or does it change as you change?

Tamagotchi analysis of items in box


Ask your objects questions. How do they relate to these topics?

DECONSTRUCT

Physical

Historical

Psychological

Actual

line, volume mass

Cultural
Society

Structure

Events, places artefacts

Emotive
Personal

Memory, associations

Tamagotchi analysis of items in box

Do the ideas revealed have parallels elsewhere? Make connections

Mirrored, Contrasted, Subverted, Emphasised

How could you use the ideas found?

RECONSTRUCT

Create layers of meaning by referring to the above physical and emotive characteristics when you decide on the structure of your final object

Henri Lefebvre

(1901-1991)

Why should the study of the banal itself be


banal? Why wouldnt the concept of everydayness reveal the extraordinary

in the ordinary?

To launch an
investigation into the theoretical practices of those who attend to everyday life requires attention to everyday life itself.

David Shrigley Imagine the Green is Red, 1997

Object, Image, Meaning

Reminder: Moodle Training Wednesday October 17 and Wednesday October 24 Check timetable for details!

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