The Notion of Visual literacy in the Context of Sociology of Art. The Work of Art as a Social Mirror

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Pojęcie visual literacy w kontekście socjologii sztuki. Dzieło sztuki jako lustro społeczne

The Notion of Visual literacy in the Context of Sociology of Art. The Work of Art as a Social Mirror

The purpose of the present article is to show the rudimentary assumptions and the main search directions in the field of sociology of art. The author also emphasizes the question of the parallels linking the sociological reflection on art with the problems centered the around the concept of visual literacy.

The text is first of all concerned with the person of the artist and characteristic mythology of creativity; it contains both references to P. Bourdieu's already classic writings and to more recent conceptions formulated by V. Zolberg and H. Becker. Another section considers the subject of the work of art as a culture text and the "center of new social relationships". In this case the author has used S. Ossowski's pioneering studies.

Selected case studies from Polish and English-language literature aptly illustrate the second constituent of the title: The Work of Art as A Social Mirror. The last section of the article deals with the social reception of J. Duda-Gracz's metaphoric painting. The author has largely based her considerations on A. Matuchniak-Krasuska's writings: she refers to the results of the latter's studies and formulations associated with the "mirror model" and the "floodlight model". She also cites the statements by her students, which distinctly differ from the previous interpretations of the same pictures.

During her discussion the author concludes that the knowledge of visual signs and codes is just as essential as the knowledge of words and grammar of verbal language because visual grammar constitutes a substantial part of the world of culture. That is why proper esthetic education should be conducted at all stages of school learning.


Annales UMCS, Artes

The Journal of Maria Curie-Sklodowska University

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