Points and Weighted Overall Percentage
Points and Weighted Overall Percentage: 20 points worth 15% overall
Rationale: The inclusion of text, and the use of language, in modern and contemporary art in the late 1800s/early 1900s signified an important shift in the art world and made a global impact. Keeping in mind that people bring their own experiences and cultural backgrounds to the creation and interpretation of such artworks, compare two pieces of art that share a theme of some kind. In your opinion, how has the artist used text to express him or herself?
1. Choose two pieces of art THAT INCORPORATE WORDS OR TEXT and, to your mind, relate to one another in some way. What theme or main idea do they share? This can be concrete or abstract as long as you can explain the main idea that you feel connects them. These do NOT have to be in the same medium (ex: you can compare a painting and a sculpture).
2. Any art piece in history is acceptable, but text only really starts appearing in art in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Modern Art ended in the 1970s, and any art after that time, generally, is considered Contemporary Art. Street art, graffiti, tattoos, text art, digital art, and photography are art. (see timelines in Module 2 material)
3. Using the list of questions below to help guide your thinking, compare both artworks with respect to the role signs, text, and language is used. Link them to one another using your main theme or idea. Compare both artworks on each one’s successful or unsuccessful use of text, words, and language.
4. Questions to consider as you compare the two pieces of art:
a. Are your pieces from the same era and genre or from different ones?
b. Why did you choose these two pieces? What is the main idea or theme that links them? Why does this appeal to you? How do you think they are linked?
c. Text, words, and language are considered symbolic signs. Are there any iconic or indexical signs apparent? Explain.
d. Does the text add or detract to the message? Is this intended?
e. Does the text “anchor” the artwork or add to it in a secondary way? If you took away the text, what would the result be?
f. Are there additional signs or symbols that add or distract from the message the text is trying to convey?
g. What do you think the meaning of the artwork is? Did the artists intend to send these messages, or are you interpreting them using your own set of beliefs and experiences that may differ from the artists’?
h. Are the artists trying to manipulate your perspective in some way?
i. Do you think the artists meant to portray a deeper meaning with the inclusion of text, or do you think it’s overt and obvious? Could it be both? Do other kinds of signs play into this?
j. Are there any metaphorical meanings attached to the text? Is it satirical or political? Is there word play? Does the inclusion of text relate to societal or cultural issues?
k. Does the text draw out emotion? If so, which ones? Why? Do you think that is a personal reaction or one that would be shared by many?
l. What would the effect of this artwork be on society and culture? Would that be true for people living in Canada as well as elsewhere in the world?
m. What is it about the font, style, placement, colour, etc. of the text that draws you in or speaks to you in some way?
n. Did the artists send their messages successfully in your opinion? Why or why not?