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Lines of beauty: propaganda, the poster, and the pictorial trope

Lines of beauty: propaganda, the poster, and the pictorial trope
Lines of beauty: propaganda, the poster, and the pictorial trope
Propaganda conceived for distribution via the medium of the pictorial poster creates artwork that can be productively examined from an aesthetic as well as political perspective. When this artwork is primarily restricted to conflict propaganda from the second decade of the twentieth century, the temporal and contextual considerations assist in focussing the poster’s role as a functional object, not only within a propaganda campaign but also within the wider visual ecology of an era.

For the poster to operate as an effective means of propaganda distribution, the propagandist requires composition that incorporates constructs capable of attracting the viewer. In isolating a particular construct, its manifestation has the potential to be utilised as a tool in the unpacking of the imagery; consequently the concept of a propagandist promotion of an alternate reality as a challenge to a current real, and the prospective movement from one to the other, can be literally and figuratively conveyed via its employment as a pictorial trope. In this regard, the construct deemed to represent not only movement, but movement at its most beautiful thereby forming a focus for attraction, is the serpentine curve that in 1745 William Hogarth scribed and titled the line of beauty (Hogarth, 1997 p6).

In concentrating on the poster within the wider genre of early twentieth century visual conflict propaganda, and creating new associations with aesthetic and metaphoric concepts pertaining to the line of beauty, this research becomes the articulation of how each contributory element within the artwork’s construction ‘respectively influences the identity and the economies of the other’, thereby providing ‘a model by which to focus and rethink’ these relationships (Ostrow, 2005 p226). The line of beauty serves as both cause and effect of the process by which the relationships are reconsidered, thus provoking an innovative discourse as to the potential impact of the whole upon the visual culture field.
Williams, Georgina
adb7bc96-a503-4007-a185-133f748c8b7d
Williams, Georgina
adb7bc96-a503-4007-a185-133f748c8b7d
Bishop, Ryan
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Williams, Georgina (2014) Lines of beauty: propaganda, the poster, and the pictorial trope. University of Southampton, Winchester School of Art, Doctoral Thesis, 246pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Propaganda conceived for distribution via the medium of the pictorial poster creates artwork that can be productively examined from an aesthetic as well as political perspective. When this artwork is primarily restricted to conflict propaganda from the second decade of the twentieth century, the temporal and contextual considerations assist in focussing the poster’s role as a functional object, not only within a propaganda campaign but also within the wider visual ecology of an era.

For the poster to operate as an effective means of propaganda distribution, the propagandist requires composition that incorporates constructs capable of attracting the viewer. In isolating a particular construct, its manifestation has the potential to be utilised as a tool in the unpacking of the imagery; consequently the concept of a propagandist promotion of an alternate reality as a challenge to a current real, and the prospective movement from one to the other, can be literally and figuratively conveyed via its employment as a pictorial trope. In this regard, the construct deemed to represent not only movement, but movement at its most beautiful thereby forming a focus for attraction, is the serpentine curve that in 1745 William Hogarth scribed and titled the line of beauty (Hogarth, 1997 p6).

In concentrating on the poster within the wider genre of early twentieth century visual conflict propaganda, and creating new associations with aesthetic and metaphoric concepts pertaining to the line of beauty, this research becomes the articulation of how each contributory element within the artwork’s construction ‘respectively influences the identity and the economies of the other’, thereby providing ‘a model by which to focus and rethink’ these relationships (Ostrow, 2005 p226). The line of beauty serves as both cause and effect of the process by which the relationships are reconsidered, thus provoking an innovative discourse as to the potential impact of the whole upon the visual culture field.

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More information

Published date: August 2014
Organisations: University of Southampton, Winchester School of Art

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 368329
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/368329
PURE UUID: cd1629e8-b555-44d8-b836-658795b9d7c0

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Date deposited: 24 Oct 2014 11:51
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 01:48

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Contributors

Author: Georgina Williams
Thesis advisor: Ryan Bishop

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