Pictures, Parables, Paradoxes
Paradoxical Representation of Tropes in Visual Rhetoric
Visual communication scholars have defined several directions for the visual analysis of pictures: aesthetic theory, perception theory, representation theory, visual rhetoric, cognition theory, semiotics, reception theory, narrative theory, media aesthetics, ethics, visual literacy, cultural studies.1 The different approaches open different dimensions to the analysis of pictures. The present study strives to build on my former research presented in 2010 at the 1st Budapest Visual Learning Conference. At that time, I focused only on a rhetorical categorical matrix based upon operations of meaning and rhetorical (figural) structuring. That research merely based on a visual rhetorical approach. In this study, I try to widen the horizon. I apply representation theory to give a common platform to the semiotic and rhetorical approaches. The empirical part of this study points to the different structures and meaning operations of pictures and pictorial elements of internet memes, while the theoretical part establishes connections between the visual application of rhetorical tropes and strategies, the former typology, visual literacy, convergence and participatory culture.
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