17 February 2012

The artichoke is dead...

Forty five years after Roland Barthes wrote The death of the author, thirty five years after the isolated singularity of the artefact tacitly became an integral part of the mainstream critical consensus, the author's remains continue to be dug up again on a daily basis.
So it is today; I wouldn't bother to mention it, except that it prompted a humorously perfect (and at the same time usefully constructive) response from Unreal Nature's Julie Heyward which I feel deserves wider notice than just the forum thread in which it appeared.
The question was framed as “It is often said that "a picture should stand on its own"...”, to which Julie's response was:
I don't think it's that an image "should" stand on its own: I think an image does stand or fall on its own. [... ... ...]
An analogy (that's got a lot of holes, but oh well). Eating artichokes. You like them? You don't like them? The artichoke experience should/does stand or fall on its own artichokiness.
However, where you are eating them, how they are prepared, who prepared them, who you're eating them with, your history of artichoke eating, stories about artichoke eating, growing, tragedies and triumphs, artichoke breeders who improved this noble vegetable -- all can enrich and develop the artichoke experience. Yet, I would still claim that the particular artichoke you are eating/experiencing stands or falls on your tongue-ish experience.


Geoff said...

My pictures - photographs and paintings - often do not stand on their own: "I like the frame" is a comment I hear far too much for my liking.

Felix said...

Geoff: does that arti-choke you up??

(Joking aside: I know, only too well, what you mean...)