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A systemic-functional semiotics of art

O'Toole, M. (1990) A systemic-functional semiotics of art. Semiotica, 82 (3/4). pp. 185-209.

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The visual arts should be a natural field for the application of semiotic models of analysis; and yet most discourse — whether published, pedagogical or popular — about art is still stuck in the well-worn grooves of art history, philosophical aesthetics, or attribution and market values. Attempts over the last ten years to invoke semiotics have mainly been confined to applying a raw Saussurean analysis — questionable even for verbal discourse — to visual texts, exploring the ramifications of Peirce's distinction between index, icon, and symbol in visual terms, or arguing about the nature of representation itself. The result has been a lot of theorizing, partial analysis, and a daunting density of new jargon.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Media, Communication and Culture
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
Copyright: © Walter de Gruyter
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