Storytelling with Images: Narrative ArtTerms/Concept: Key Monuments:Ut Pictura Theodore Gericault, The RaftPoesis, diachronic, synchronic, pr of the Medusa, 1819.egnant Giotto, Scenes from the Life ofmoment, monoscenic, sequential, Christ, Arena Chapel, Padua, Italy, 1305.continuous, synoptic, simultane Masaccio, The Tributeous, autonomous, Money, 1425. Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Man’s Love Story, 1978. Kara Walker, “Darkytown Rebellion” from My Complement, My Oppressor, My Friend, 1997.
“Storytelling starts with human history itself;there is not, nor has there everbeen, anywhere, a group of people withoutstories…international, transhistorical, acrosscultures, storytelling is just there—a part of life.” --Roland Barthes
Types of Stories Told by ImagesMythologicalReligiousLiteraryHistoricalPersonalAllegorical
Ut Pictura Poesis “as is painting, so is poetry” Image Text Communicates Communicates Records Records Expresses Expresses Evokes a response Evokes a response Synchronic: Diachronic: experienced all at once. experienced over time.
Ut Pictura Poesis “as is painting, so is poetry” The grandmother lived out in the wood, half a league from the village, and just as Little Red Riding Hood entered the wood, a wolf met her. Red Riding Hood did not know what a wicked creature he was, and was not at all afraid of him. Good day, Little Red Riding Hood, said he. Thank you kindly, wolf. Whither away so early, Little Red Riding Hood? To my grandmothers. What have you got in your apron? Cake and wine; yesterday was baking-day, so poor sick grandmother is to have something good, to make her stronger. Where does your grandmother live, Little Red Riding Hood? A good quarter of a league farther on in the wood; her house stands under the three large oak-trees, the nut-trees are just below; you surely must know it, replied Little Red Riding Hood. The wolf thought to himself: What a tender young creature! what a nice plump mouthful - she will be better to eat than the old woman. I must act craftily, so as to catch both. So he walked for a short time by the side of Little Red Riding Hood, and then he said: See, Little Red Riding Hood, how pretty the flowers are about here - why do you not look round? I believe, too, that you do not hear how sweetly the little birds are singing; you walk gravely along as if you were going to school, while everything else out here in the wood is merry. Little Red Riding Hood raised her eyes, and when she saw the sunbeams dancing here and there through the trees, and pretty flowers growing everywhere, she thought: Suppose I take grandmother a fresh nosegay; that would please her too. It is so early in the day that I shall still get there in good time.How do artists use synchronic images to represent diachronicnarratives?
Narrative Methods in Art1. Monoscenic …present only one scene of many to2. Sequential represent an entire3. Continuous narrative.4. Synoptic5. Simultaneous6. Autonomous
Conventional Story Structure*A pregnant moment is one part of a larger narrative that serves tospeak for the entire series of events by having structural significance, emotionalimpact, or some other means of communicates a sense of the whole story.
*Monoscenic Narratives present only one scene of many to represent an entire narrative. ClimaxTheodore Gericault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1819.
DenouementHonore Daumier, Rue Transnonain April15, 1834, 1834.
Narrative Methods in Art1. Monoscenic …is the ordered grouping of key2. Sequential monoscenic3. Continuous episodes to convey a4. Synoptic diachronic narrative.5. Simultaneous6. Autonomous
*Sequential Narrative is the grouping of key monoscenic episodes to convey a diachronic narrative.Art Spiegelman, “The War is Over!”Maus, Volume 1, 1986.
Bringing of Praying the Rods SuitorsLife of the Virgin Wedding Raising of at Cana Lazarus Life of Christ The The Lamentation Resurrection Death of ChristGiotto, Scenes from the Life of Christ, ArenaChapel, Padua, Italy, 1305.
Narrative Methods in Art1. Monoscenic …uses the repetition of figures to convey2. Sequential multiple scenes of a3. Continuous story in a single4. Synoptic composition.5. Simultaneous6. Autonomous
* Continuous Narrative uses the repetition of figures to convey multiple scenes of a story in a single composition. 1. Christ tells St. Peter to retrieve 3. St. Peter pays the the money from a fish. tribute collector.2.St. Peter retrievesthe money.Masaccio, The Tribute Money, 1425.
Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well, ViennaGenesis, early 6th century CE. Rebecca walks to the well. Rebecca giving Water personification Eliezer water.
Narrative Methods in Art1. Monoscenic …like continuous narrative, conveys2. Sequential multiple scenes3. Continuous within a single4. Synoptic composition but without the5. Simultaneous repetition of figures.6. Autonomous
3. Odysseus and his men blind the drunk cyclops. 2. Odysseus gets Polyphemus drunk. 1. Polyphemus, the cyclops, captures Odysseus and eats some of his men. *Synoptic Narrative, like continuous narrative, conveys multiple scenes within a single composition but without the repetition of figures.Blinding of Polyphemus, Laconian Black-FigureKylix, 565-550 BCE.
Narrative Methods in Art …uses culturally significant1. Monoscenic symbols and patterns to2. Sequential convey a story. These symbols are often used as3. Continuous memory cues for oral storytelling.4. Synoptic5. Simultaneous6. Autonomous
*Simultaneous Narrative uses culturally significant symbols and patterns to convey a story.Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Man’s Love Story, 1978.
Mervyn Firebrace, Telling a DreamtimeStory, United Kingdom, c. 2005.
Another Ancestor Mirage women Sugary Leaves Hair on a Spindle Journey Line Ancestor 1 women Water hole Water hole Honey Ants women Digging Stick Ancestor 2 women Ant HoleClifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Man’s Love Story, 1978.
Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Man’s Love Story, 1993.
Narrative Methods in Art …is a narrative free from a1. Monoscenic text, that the artist creates2. Sequential with his or her work. The audience plays a large role3. Continuous in reconstructing this narrative.4. Synoptic5. Simultaneous6. Autonomous
Kara Walker, “Slavery, Slavery, Slavery,” from MyComplement, My Oppressor, My Friend, 1997.
Kara Walker, “Darkytown Rebellion” from MyComplement, My Oppressor, My Friend, 1997.
Kara Walker, Freedom, a Fable: A CuriousInterpretation of the Wit of a Negress in TroubledTimes, 1997.
Interrogating the Narrative1. What is the story being told? Is it fictional? Mythological? Religious? Historical? Autonomous?2. Does the narrative image consist of a single events or a single event?3. If a single event, what part of the story is being told? Climax? Exposition? Denouement? Aftermath?4. From what point of view is the story being told/ Who is telling the story? The Artist? The Viewer? An unknown character?5. How to you, the viewer, form the narrative by either your physical or mental position?
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