Text topic: Visual Art as a Mass Communication Medium
Text author: Милан Радовановић
Semiotic theory explores the generation, transfer, operation and transformation of visual signs in social life, thus pointing at the cultural and contextual and not the „natural“ origin of interpretation. The semiotic reading does not seek to produce a separate interpretation of a work of art in the first place, but to explore the conditions of such an interpretation according to the referential field of cultural construction of the work itself. Instead of the esentially erroneous traditional understanding of the image as a perception record, semiotics suggests to treat the image as a visual sign system that is present in the inter-individual territory of recognition, and the meaning of which may not be separated from the context it belongs to at a specific moment. Recognition of the context as the text is one of significant contributions of the semiotic theory, the very context being produced as the text that consists of signs requiring interpretation. The visual text, as an open space for transfiguration, reinterpretation, production and exchange of meaning between the visual object and the observer, is produced only in the process of communication and cannot be conceived beyond the grand whole that we call culture. The nature of the visual text is to look at its recepient and to produce its meanings only in an encounter with him. In the process of reading no reader will appreciate a separate work, but will interprete that work on the basis of an entire social context in force in a given historic moment. By locating the visual phenomena in the realm of textuality, the semiotic theory showed that each observation understood as reading is in fact writing down a new text in the process of interpretation.