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Parsons School of Design MFA Photography program theses2009 (PC020403.05) ➔ Interpretation


Related people/organizations

Parsons School of Design. Photography Department. (sponsoring body)
Merve Unsal (photographer)


May 2009


In Roland Barthes’ seminal essay “Myth Today,” “unstable” nature of men’s grasp of reality refers to our essential inaptitude to get a full understanding of that which surrounds us. Barthes underlines the inherent splits between the respective pairs of reality and man, description and explanation, object and knowledge. My project aims to recreate that sense of inaptitude. This approach is different from the way in which information is provided; most sources of information assume a complete understanding of the issues being discussed, both in text and in images. The conceptual premise of my project is that the universe, which is “infinitely fertile in suggestions,” can lack a complete meaning unless interpreted, or “conveyed by a discourse” especially with respect to catastrophic or traumatic events. I interpret these events to create a meaning that did not exist before. The proliferation of information and the overwhelming impact of media on the consciousness of the individual have blurred the distinction between reality and representation, as the representational dominates the actual experience. For instance, Susan Sontag uses the anecdote of people that have experienced September 11 and describe their perception as “unreal”, “surreal”, “like a movie,” distinguishing between a catastrophe that is experienced and a catastrophe that is represented.



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