This week’s lecture was centred around exploring the creation and curation of complex images in society and their impacts. We also looked at the creation and meanings behind signs through the use of “Stuart Hall – Encoding/Decoding Model”.

When Warhol first exhibited these thirty-two canvases in 1962, each one simultaneously hung from the wall like a painting and rested on a shelf like groceries in a store. The number of canvases corresponds to the varieties of soup then sold by the Campbell Soup Company. Warhol assigned a different flavor to each painting, referring to a product list supplied by Campbell’s. There is no evidence that Warhol envisioned the canvases in a particular sequence.

Gallery label from 2006.

There are a few different connotations that first come to mind when I see Warhol’s work. The first being that the work questions and challenges the traditional definition of the “art”, This is illustrated through Warhol deciding to paint a everyday item and bring a new meaning to them. Through this the work contains multiple meanings from “just being painted soup cans in an art gallery” to a deeper meaning of the work being a simulation of a grocery store and comment on western ideals and consumerism.

As for the second part of the lecture we learnt about the concept and
science around semiotics and how a sign is built up by the signifier (things
that give meaning) and the signified (what is evoked in the mind) which results in the reader deciphering a meaning or action.

A great example of this would be gender bathroom signs, where the physical design has decoded a message of which gender should use the specific bathroom, this is then decoded by the user through their understanding of the social construct of a person wearing a triangle = female bathroom.

References:

https://www.moma.org/collection/works/79809

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