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Design Change and Conflict - Andy Warhol

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VA 0500 DESIGN CHANGE AND CONFLICT
W11026064 - Samuel Rubin

Figure 1. Screenshot of the clip http://www.markallencam.com/AndyEatingaBurger.jpg
Figure 1. Screenshot of the clip http://www.markallencam.com/AndyEatingaBurger.jpg The very first subject that intrigues us is a scene from a documentary “66 Scenes of America” to which Andy Warhol is seen eating a hamburger. Why does it captivate our imagination and sparked interest? Maybe because it was layered, to ordinary viewer it might have looked like a simple scene of a man slowly eating a hamburger, but deep down there’s message that the director want to get across that can be analyzed through various theorem taught in the class. The group chose “Post-Modernism”, “Barthes’s semiotics” and “Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation” theorem to analyze the subject in matter. Perhaps we chose these 3 are because the content of the clip is laden with subdued symbols and signs and the relationship between objects in the clip.
The segregation of art, between high and low. A model where cultural, political and social progress defines art. A movement that flourished from post world war development and growth in society. The entire characteristic above signifies Modernism, and Postmodernism is standing opposed of that.
Postmodernism rises from time of peace, it does not dictate rules or narratives, instead it focuses on contradiction, reality and disorder. Postmodernism mixes the high and low art from the Modernist period as a statement that there is no boundaries to art. The clip of Andy Warhol eating a hamburger was a small section of a larger documentary called 66 Scenes of America by Jorgen Leth. The documentaries itself is a representation of values in Postmodernism, as it consist of rather random shots of American realities which provokes the sense of patriotism and freedom. Andy Warhol in this clip is portrayed as symbol of “high” art due to his popularity, art-style and his wealth. But seemingly “low” art, something that we can all gets, nondescript furniture, a Burger King whopper, and a bottle of Heinz tomato sauce surround him. Those alone have metaphorically challenged the Modernism movement whereby the two stream of arts merge. But we can also see the contrast between the celebrity like status of Andy Warhol and the commonplace object of a hamburger. It sort of a personal mockery of the modern world and what’s in it. But as the suspense grows in the clip, as the viewer waited for what he’ll be doing next in that empty room, the clip ended with a simple sentence “ My name is Andy Warhol and I just finished a hamburger” which signifies the merging of the two, or that the two movements can merge together to form this sentence. But from another point view, Barthes for example. It’s the minor details that get picked out. Warhol’s simple remarks, “It won’t come out!” defines what he think of the bottle of sauce as a dilemma and problem for the western society. This single image is enough to supply us with thoughts of what it might imply. This image is similar to Barthes’s explanation on “The Photographic Memory” to which he said, “Although the photo itself often holds many connotative messages, the text around the photo also contributes to its connotation. Barthes describes the text as “parasitic” on the image. In other words, the text borrows the objectivity of the image, while at the same time loading the image with hidden connotations. Thus, words are not just duplicating messages within the photo but also, always adding new meaning (R.T. Craig, lecture, October 4th, 2007).”
Figure 2 http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7yB-eeGviiI/TMxCxT97T8I/AAAAAAAACmA/Pyejw46kLIg/s1600/burger+king+logo.jpg
Figure 2 http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7yB-eeGviiI/TMxCxT97T8I/AAAAAAAACmA/Pyejw46kLIg/s1600/burger+king+logo.jpg The clip shows the logos of two major global brands, Burger King and Heinz.
But what is embedded within those two images, it represent the consumerism of modern America. Both are widely recognizable and stereotypical object of which an American would buy. But as some says, the director might have been intentional in juxtaposing a celebrity with daily, ordinary consumer product to which he might not have consumed personally. Or the director wanted to point out that a celebrity like Warhol could transform an ordinary product into something that held a special status, much like the hamburger that he just ate.

Figure 3 http://www.heinz.com/media/downloads/view/GrownNotMade.jpg
Figure 3 http://www.heinz.com/media/downloads/view/GrownNotMade.jpg The third theory to discuss is the concept of simulation and hyper-reality by the French sociologist and cultural critics, Jean Baudrillard. We live in a world where reality is just a compilation of symbols and signs where the reality that we experience is just a simulation. The phenomenon is called “precession of simulacra”. What are Burger King, Heinz, or even the work of Warhol? Do we need them for survival? Why are they considered part of reality that we need to see in this documentary “66 Scenes of America”? Baudrillard explains that several phenomenons caused this to happen. The presence of media such as TV, film, prints and the availability of Internet helped to fade the line that parts things that we need to survive and things that are created by commercials. These products are valued by monetary currency rather than the overall usefulness, an example would be when Warhol’s painting sold for $38.4 million. What is that value based of, the usefulness or simply the simulated perception luxury and wealth that bestowed to the individual that bought the painting. Same thing happens when we saw those two brands; we perceive them as reality because of familiarity of the content. The image of Warhol eating a hamburger with all the sauces will then become icon and multiplied until it became a simulacrum, a simulation of the original simulation. This phenomenon is called the “dispersal of subject and its identity”. There are three phases before a reality could become a simulation, “First the representing of a real item with a sign, much like the filming of an ads for Heinz.” Then “Second, corrupting the sign, ex: Warhol eating the sauce in a documentary” lastly “Third, the sign no longer represents any meaningful reality, it is its own simulacrum now. Now the sauce is a form of art no longer attached to the reality products both in usefulness and value” Questioning the reality of the ephemeral and the everyday frivolity that is endless superficiality, despite it often being a celebration of image, it poses the question whether these symbol has naturalized in American culture. The presentations that we did were rather thorough, despite using more that 3 models to explain this clip. Some models were more thoroughly explained while some weren’t. We are fortunate due to the clip we used are an endless mine of details that we can pick and observe through different model theories, as the clip was unusual in the sense that its almost surreal in the making. We as a group decided, although we analyzed it through more than 3 models, the three that most describe and explain the clip is the one I selected for this essay, “Post Modernism, Semiotics and Simulacra”, other theories such as Deconstructivism does not really address the peculiarity of the clip.

Bibliography

$1,600 Andy Warhol work sells for $38.4 million - Entertainment - The Arts - TODAY.com. 2013. $1,600 Andy Warhol work sells for $38.4 million - Entertainment - The Arts - TODAY.com. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.today.com/id/43001251/site/todayshow/ns/today-entertainment/t/andy-warhol-work-sells-million/#.UQKTkEpvyDg. [Accessed 20 January 2013].

Barthes Semiotic Theory and September 11th, 2001. 2013. Barthes Semiotic Theory and September 11th, 2001. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.colorado.edu/communication/meta-discourses/Papers/App_Papers/Lockwood.htm. [Accessed 20 January 2013].

Defining Postmodernism . 2013. Defining Postmodernism . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/elab/hfl0242.html. [Accessed 20 January 2013].

Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation « Adrian Park. 2013. Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation « Adrian Park. [ONLINE] Available at: http://dm.ncl.ac.uk/adrianpark/2011/03/07/jean-baudrillards-simulacra-and-simulation/. [Accessed 25 January 2013].

Mandatory Chaos: Andy Warhol Eats a Hamburger. 2013. Mandatory Chaos: Andy Warhol Eats a Hamburger. [ONLINE] Available at:http://mandatorychaos.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/andy-warhol-eats-hamburger.html. [Accessed 20 January 2013].

Images

Figure 1
Andy Eating a Hamburger.Unknown 2013. . [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.markallencam.com/AndyEatingaBurger.jpg. [Accessed 20 January 2013].

Figure 2
Burger King Logo. Unknown. 2013. . [ONLINE] Available at: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7yB-eeGviiI/TMxCxT97T8I/AAAAAAAACmA/Pyejw46kLIg/s1600/burger+king+logo.jpg. [Accessed 20 January 2013].

Grown Not Made. Unknown. 2013. . [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.heinz.com/media/downloads/view/GrownNotMade.jpg. [Accessed 20 January 2013].

--------------------------------------------
[ 1 ]. Defining Postmodernism . 2013. Defining Postmodernism . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/elab/hfl0242.html. [Accessed 20 January 2013].
[ 2 ]. Mandatory Chaos: Andy Warhol Eats a Hamburger. 2013. Mandatory Chaos: Andy Warhol Eats a Hamburger. [ONLINE] Available at:http://mandatorychaos.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/andy-warhol-eats-hamburger.html. [Accessed 20 January 2013].
[ 3 ]. Barthes Semiotic Theory and September 11th, 2001. 2013. Barthes Semiotic Theory and September 11th, 2001. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.colorado.edu/communication/meta-discourses/Papers/App_Papers/Lockwood.htm. [Accessed 20 January 2013].
[ 4 ]. $1,600 Andy Warhol work sells for $38.4 million - Entertainment - The Arts - TODAY.com. 2013. $1,600 Andy Warhol work sells for $38.4 million - Entertainment - The Arts - TODAY.com. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.today.com/id/43001251/site/todayshow/ns/today-entertainment/t/andy-warhol-work-sells-million/#.UQKTkEpvyDg. [Accessed 20 January 2013].
[ 5 ]. Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation « Adrian Park. 2013. Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation « Adrian Park. [ONLINE] Available at: http://dm.ncl.ac.uk/adrianpark/2011/03/07/jean-baudrillards-simulacra-and-simulation/. [Accessed 25 January 2013].…...

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