Month: May 2014

Colbert Nation

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This image is of Stephen Colbert. Or, rather, it is of his postmodernist personality – I have chosen this picture, in fact, because I believe Colbert illustrates the idea of the postmodernist personality. The concept of this postmodernist personality, at least as I’ve come to understand it, relies mostly on circumstance. At all times, we are capable of enacting a multitude of different personalities based on our context. In this sense, the postmodernist personality is a performance, one that is primarily dependent upon external forces. Thus, we have no individual personality, but are composed of many different personas, all of which comprise what we would normally consider to be the individual personality.

This seems to certainly be the case with Colbert. One of his personalities is a reimagining of a politically conservative pundit, such as Bill O’Reilly. Thus, his TV show personality is entirely a performance, one that relies on the context of the show. He is playing this role, despite his tremendously left leaning tendencies in “real life.” Colbert seems to be a particularly noteworthy example of this postmodernist personality because many are unsure of the genuineness of the pundit character he plays, exemplifying the performative nature of the postmodern personality. It is constantly in flux, and never wholly one thing or the other; it is constantly a mixture of many different personalities, and responses derived from an external context. 

Michael Jackson, 1992 by Jean-Claude Deutsch

Michael Jackson, 1992 by Jean-Claude Deutsch

I found this photo that I have seen a numerous times on an old facebook post one of my friends made. This is a photo of Michael Jackson in 1992 in Libreville Gabon. This is around the time of his Dangerous World Tour. I like this pic because getting on top of the car or busting through the sunroof to acknowledge fans was a common Michael Jackson move, but now the fan base is seemingly all old, high class, African men. Not a women in sight. It is interesting to see that the only people who had a chance to see Michael, or get close to his car, were middle aged men in business attire. Some people are trying to touch him with their finger tips and it looks like some are even trying to make contact with the hand making the peace sign. The two men in the back give it a political type feel because they make me think of secret service agents watching over an important person. This photo reminds me of the egalitarian values that he emphasized us to embrace during his life, which is why I like this photo.

La Grande Odalisque remake

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Searching around the internet and came across this image. It is a clear appropriation of the Orentialism painting La Grande Odalisque by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres in 1814. An Odalisque is a female slave who acted as a chamber maid to the harem of the sultan, who hopes to become a concubine. The Odalisque was the lowest in the Turkish hierarchy, and the most subjugated. This painting draws off that idea as this woman looks like an old prostitute, that hasn’t gotten many breaks in life. There are subtle differences between the two paintings though. This woman is more emaciated, whereas the woman in the Dominique painting is fuller, healthier looking. Emphasis is placed on the beauty of the Odalisque’s long back arch, almost to the point where it looks too long for human proportion. The woman in this picture has an almost grotesque back with the entire vertebrate visible, and her bony arm is what seems to be out of proportion, extending down to the ankle. The background in this picture is very minimalistic where La Grande Odalisque has lavish garments and silks. These differences may be meant to show the societal disjunction between prostitutes in the East Orient and the Western world, where prostitutes are more accepted.  

Blind Spot Troubles?

Blind Spot Troubles?

I was interested in the Mercedes Benz advertisement we analyzed in class and I did some googling into more Mercedes Benz commercials. This particular advertisement intrigued me because it was an illusion that served their purpose perfectly. It is so ingenious but so simple at the same time. It is saying the driver of a Mercedes Benz with “blind spot assistance” can look to the side without actually looking, like the illusion displays. The target audience for this advertisement would be older adults that have trouble turning their body to look to their blind spot or adults with children and need the extra assistance. The denotative meaning of this advertisement is that Mercedes Benz is now offering blind spot assistance. The connotative meaning of this advertisement is, if you are having trouble turning to your blind spot or have a rowdy family and need that extra help Mercedes Benz can help you.