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Visual images are source of information and thus they are used as teaching and learning tools. Scientifically, visual images are said to be the most powerful method of communication. Images attract sight of the reader who eventually learns the information. However, visual imagery, as a tool of communication, can be used to give either direct or indirect information to the readers. Direct information has an open meaning whereas indirect has hidden meaning which is understandable to specific readers.
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In addition, interpretation of meaning in the images requires visual critical thinking by reader. The reader has to argue critically about the intention of the artist in the imagery work. Additionally has to analyze and interpret the images as social data. Images can be used in a good or bad manner with regard to the information they are required to pass. They can be used to create awareness to a large group of audience as in the case of public awareness campaigns or in spreading propaganda and creation of bad reputation against another party.
Barbara Kruger is a renowned artistic worker who communicates to the audience through gallery and visual presentations. The artist does advisement, public awareness campaign, informative, and argumentative work through art. Kruger’s work is basically on creativity and human experiences in life. The public appreciate her work which has the ability to determine who we really are. This appreciation gives her motivation to continue with her work. She also uses her work to represent cultural representation in dynamics of power, gender and identity. She passes different information to different groups of people.
Power Pleasure Desire Disgust
Through this image, the artist intention is to inform public. The artist, through the image, she tells that powerful individuals are driven by their social positions. Basically, this is true when looked at in social domain. Powerful individuals acquire those positions through the public. They go to the public to seek support promising good things to come out from their power. Once they get into power, pleasure and desires overcome them turning them in disgust individual to the public domain (Kruger,p.23).
All Violence is the Illustration of a Pathetic Stereotype
In this image, Kruger is informing audience on consequences of ignorance and negligence. An individual may take advantage of another individual’s ignorance to acquire a benefit. For instance, an individual may use advantage of knowledge to acquire a high position in a work place. Once the individual is in the position, uses power against the subordinates. Neglecting the fact that they were important during the acquiring of the position, subordinates choose to get the individual out of power. However, if the individual chooses to be reluctant, subordinates may use violent means to meet their ends. Thus, the image is informing individuals on the consequences of negligence and stereotypes (Anthony F, p. 89).
In addition, in many cases violence erupts as a result of disagreement between some parties. The image has two faces of ladies one of either side with mouth wide open. Additionally, Kruger has used red colored font in the word art in the image. The two faces represent two parties in a society which are socially divided by opinions on either side. Kruger has referred this disagreement as pathetic. The disagreements erupt into violence and damages in the society. Thus, informing audience to keep off disagreements for they are likely to cause violence.
In this image, Kruger is informing females on their sexuality. The image has the face of a woman which is divided asymmetrically in which one side is clear while the other is not. The message behind the picture is that a woman has two sided way of living. The clear side portrays her beauty style of living whereby she appears peaceful and active in her living. On the other hand, she is in distress and life is hard for her. This is the point where a woman is in her early adulthood and she has to settle down as a wife and start a family. The hard times comes in where she has to accommodate another individual who is her husband to her life.
We Have Orders Not To Move
In this image, Kruger has used an image of a woman. The woman is seated with her head bowed and nailed on backside of the body from the neck region to the ankles. In addition, she used black and white painting and red colored font. The image is informative on the plight of gender in the society. The women have been denied opportunity to grow socially since the men have dominated in all activities. The red font indicates how inhuman the action is to the women. Men abuse women through denying them chance to further education, wife battering, and enrolling in some jobs which are said to be men’s jobs (Foster,p88-92.).
My Body is a Battleground
However, Kruger also advocates for the rights of women through her work. For instance, through the image of my body is a battleground, she informs women to take precaution about their nature. Women are more venerable to the disasters in the society than men are. In the cases of violence women carry the burden of the family while men work to contain the violence. Through this image, she is encouraging women to take their lives positively so as to combat negative effects of the nature. Women have been denied equal rights to men but she demands for their rights through her work which catches many eyes (Berger,p.45).
We Don’t Need another Hero
In this image, Kruger has used an image of a boy and a woman. Additionally, she has used a red background and red font to the word art. The image is informative on gender which is a social factor and welfare. The woman is represented leaning over the boy’s body from the back. She is admiring the budding musculature of the boy. The image represents the power and predatory nature of male in the society. It seems that women submit themselves to the masculinity believing that men are more powerful than they are irrespective of one’s age (Angier,p.56).
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However, the word art also carries meaning to the image. The pronoun “we” does not refer to the women of the society but rather it refers to both males and females. The statement implies that culture has changed from the society in which power of a man had dominated into another where both males and females have equal rights. More to that the dressing code of the two individuals represent ancient society thus implying ancient culture.
I Shop Therefore I Am
In this image, Kruger is criticizing feminist presentation. The image represents a palm of a woman holding a red tape. The tape has a red background and a white colored word art. Then main aim of the image is to disintegrate the ideology of consumerism on women. Women in the society are believed to make larger part of consumerism than men and this notion hurts women and that makes Kruger to come out fighting this notion of identity through consumption.
Your Gaze Hits the Side of My Face
In this image, Kruger has used a statue of a female statue which represented beauty in the traditional art. The statue is facing to the left making one side of the right dimension of the face to appear extremely bright. The image is informative on feminism in the society. The gaze on the woman’s body is of a man who is aggressive and seems to hinder her from social development. In addition, Kruger is emphasizing on men being the stumbling block to women’s social, political and economical development. The bright side of the face represents sexual offences, domestic violence, among other abuses that men impose to the lives of women (Pilcher,p.67).
You Are Seduced By Sex Appeal of the Inorganic
This image is informative. Kruger has used glove representation in the image. One is white while the other is white. The two are held to each other representing two persons shaking each others hand. In addition, the gloves appear to be placed on a bed. In real sense, white glove represents a woman while black represents a man. This implies that the image represents a man and a woman in bed holding each other. The word art implies that people of today’s society are seduced by image representations which have been put in clothes and advertisements (Linker,p.23).
Your Every Wish is Our Command
In this image, Kruger has used two arms where one is a child and the other for an adult to inform the audience. The message this image is that children get whatever they want from adults. In contrary adults get less from children. The image is informative on the plight of children in today’s society. In real life, a young child demands to be taken care of because of its delicate life. Women are the children’s caretakers in the society. In contrary, the image does not imply that a child ought to get whatever the wish demands but adults should give whatever is essential to the growth and development of the child (Kruger,p.56).
In conclusion, imagery is an essential tool of communication. From the artistic work of Barbara Kruger, imagery requires clear understanding of the image in order to extract the message from the image. In addition, images can reach a larger sized audience as compared to other modes of communication. This is mainly because images can be posted to the websites where users from wide geographical diversity can access the information. The capability of sending hidden information in images makes it safe for an individual to communicate to a specific audience safely.
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