Assignment 2 : Response to tutor feedback report

  • I really enjoyed the process of annotating images on an A3 sheet, but recognise that assessors may need a little guidance of where to start and finish. I will try to address this in the annotations which I do later in the course.


  • I have been challenged with learning about artists who I was not previously familiar with, and who are more conceptual than those I am more familiar with. These included Cindy Sherman whose work is made recognising a host of feminist issues. As a man, it was genuinely revealing to think about her subversion of the pornography theme in fig. 4 assignment 2.


  • I have reflected on my tutor comments on each of the six annotations, and have included these in my BLOG.


  • I have taken my tutor’s advice and increased the amount of exhibitions and reflection which I have included in my BLOG. These were Exhibition visit: Building the civic and Exhibition visit: ‘Hidden Gallery’- photos and paintings of The Beatles. These visits allowed me to think about some (not all) artists who were


  1. not hugely famous
  2. photographers not painters
  3. amateur not professional
  4. non –western, not western

None of these artist’s characteristics are usually part of my looking thinking and talking about art.  It was also unusual for me to think about the exhibition space and to ask questions of the gallery staff as I did with the Beatles visit.

  • I have increased the rate at which I finish projects and publish on my BLOG. It took me nearly 5 months to get my first assignment in. I think this was due to some initial difficulty reading and understanding the complex texts. My second assignment was sent in about 9 weeks after the first- an improvement. This will allow me to hopefully finish the module in approximately one year as I have some time pressure due to a suspension through illness in a previous module.


  • I have bought some new texts in order to increase my knowledge of different authors and ideas. These include
  • Williamson, J., 1978. Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising. London:    Marion Boyars
  • Pooke, Grant and Newall, Diana. (2008), Art History: the basics, London: Routledge.


  • I have also downloaded the following book online – Chandler, D., 2002. Semiotics: The Basics. 2nd ed. Abingdon: Routledge, and this has proved excellent for ideas for assignment three.

Assignment 2- Response and reflection on selected tutor comments


o   Fig 1- Laura Keeble: I’d like to teach the world to sing (everyday objects)

o   Fig 2-Banksy : Rock with marker pen (work of others)

o   Fig 3-Picasso: still life with chair caning (everyday objects)

o   Fig 4- Cindy Sherman: untitled #93 (everyday objects)

o   Fig. 5- Andy Warhol: Marilyn diptych(work of others)

o   Fig 6-Sherry Levine: after walker Evans (work of others)

Fig. 1

Number: 1   It has a much older tradition than that going back to Duchamp and the Dadaists at least. I rather think that it is not inappropriate to think of this as part of a revival of interest in Dada and Duchamp in particular since the beginning of the 21stC as well as a continuation of the use of found objects coming out of PoMo.

Yes, this object is to an extent more similar to those of the Dadaists. It is found,  but has been altered in a very artistic individual, non-reproducible way, unlike the everyday objects often associated with minimalism and the post-modernists.

Number: 3 is it important that it was a can? What difference if it had been a beer can? Is it merely chosen because it is red?

The can is important because it is deformable and therefore able to carry the evidence of the event which happened in the past into the present. The red colour is useful artistically –it symbolises fire and hell, but is less important than the Coca-Cola brand I think. This brand is one of the most recognisable symbols of youth, and corporate global power-elements important within the political message. For the same reason the Cola can carries a more powerful message than any beer can/brand could.


Fig 2

Comment 3: as we cannot read the text, would it have been a good idea to reproduce it here or is that not necessary?

In hindsight, it would have been good to have an image where the text is in focus and legible.

The text is very important to the artwork’s impact-it’s highly sceptical and humorous and aimed at political and artistic institutions.  I tried to convey this with a few hand-written quotes from the text.


Comment 4 : A ‘joke’ would indicate a lack of seriousness, you don’t mean that so perhaps you need to find another work or words to make the point clear…wit, humour etc.        

Perhaps pastiche is more appropriate than joke- but I’m not sure. I think Banksy might have been happy with the word joke, and jokes can still carry political punch.


Fig 3

Number: 2 How many of the allusions that we can find in his choice of materials was conscious do you think?

I think the playful and intelligent Picasso was conscious of all these allusions- ‘nothing is but what is not’ in Macbeth’s words.

Number: 3 however collage and bricolage were well established craft activities…were they questioning these distinctions?

Yes I’m sure this was the case. By 1912 the arts and crafts movement had spread across Europe and had already questioned this distinction between fine art and craft.



Number: 1 So why does Sherman not in these? she certainly doesn’t shy away from these things as you show?

Sherman’s point is to always subvert the appropriated image/idea. In this image she has taken the idea of pornography but has denied the viewer access to typical body parts, and has added the vulnerability of the object. Where she has showed graphic anatomical details (the thumbnail untitled #250) she has subverted the object in a different way- by making the face ugly, old and male…..

Number: 3 Does the Marxist see the subjects of pornography as being any more exploited than other workers? Is there any conflict between a Marxist Feminist analysis of pornography and a Radical Feminist one? What about Gay etc. pornography?

No a Marxist feminist would concentrate on the class aspect of the exploited person, whereas the radical feminist concentrates on the unequal political, psychological and social power of  men over women (quora, 2016). In this respect I think Sherman’s analysis is radical feminist more than Marxist.

Number: 5  I think it is important to think of here work additionally at least, dealing with questions of identity, its construction, fluidity, plurality, the expectations of society and so on. Particularly in terms of the demands on women in these respects.

Yes I think this fits with a radical feminist view of her work.


Quora (2016) What-is-the-difference-between-a-Radical-Feminist-and-a-Marxist-Feminist [online] at [accessed 31st January 2018]


Fig. 5

Number: 1 You need to think about the ideas behind Minimalism here


Developed in 1960’s USA, often consisting of simple shapes. Minimalism is concerned with the idea that the artwork does not allude to any reality outside of the given object. Practitioners include Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin and Robert Morris. It is related to conceptual art as both are concerned with challenging traditional views of making and viewing art (Tate, 2018).


Tate (2018). Minimalism [online] at [accessed 31st January 2018].


Fig 6

Comment 2: does this matter?

Photographing someone else’s work and exhibiting it is deeply political and philosophical. Why ? – the instant reaction of a viewer is – ‘this is not art !- this person is simply stealing someone else’s work!’……so in this broader sense the  image and what it highlights must be meant to be thought about. In this sense it does matter. In the narrower view- it doesn’t really matter if it’s fine art or ‘low art’; this is often decided by institutions, and is therefore to be viewed with scepticism. It’s the politics that matters.


Comment 3:would all this have worked so well if she had rephotographed other images?

The photographs are of rural poor farming families in the USA. They are the dispossessed, and we are drawn to these subjects and have some sympathy with them. This makes the subjects highly relevant to the question of artistic, and more broadly political possession and disposession.

Comment 5 : I think it also poses the question about subject matter.  If something is worthy of being photographed it must be worth looking at so if something is worth looking at (such as Evans’ photograph) should it not be photographed?

Yes this is a good point. The artist is saying that looking at this photograph is very valuable for others, and this cannot be overridden by institutional ideas of copyright. This could be interpreted as strong belief in the power that rephotographing (reproducing) has to (what Walter Benjamin described as) reactivate the original.


Assignment 2- Formative feedback


!*This post contains 6 embedded documents* !

Annotated feedback:-







fig_6annotatedtutor report assignment 2

 Overall Comments

This has taken me much longer to get to than I intended for reasons beyond my control.  That is why I have put the date you had scheduled for assignment 4 as the next deadline.

I think that your annotations for this assignment have worked rather well but you might want to find some way of indicating where to start for the assessors who have much less time to go searching than I do!

Feedback on assignment  

I think most of what I want to say is in the notes I have added to your pdfs…click if you can’t see the comments in full as you roll over them.

It is a good response to the brief and seems to indicate that you have a reasonable grasp of the concepts involved.

Student name  Philip Hepworth Student number   508858 Course/Unit Understanding Visual Culture Assignment number   2

The questions I have posed in my comments on your documents are to make you think about it and perhaps to write about it in your learning log/blog. I don’t expect an answer to me.

This is an interesting selection of artists and works, see what links you can find between them.

We can discuss these things further if we can set up a video tutorial.


Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical review/essay

This is shaping up well. 

I am pleased to see you have taken on board the things I pointed out last time.

Be careful that the navigation doesn’t get too complex, remember that the assessors don’t have much time to try to find things and anyone else reading the blog will get frustrated if it gets too complex…ok so far though!

 Suggested reading/viewing

For the next assignment:-

As well as the articles The rhetoric of the image and  Myth Today by Barthes a couple of books are key here:

Chandler, D., 2002. Semiotics: The Basics. 2nd ed. Abingdon: Routledge

or the on-line version Semiotics for Beginners at 

Williamson, J., 1978. Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising. London: Marion Boyars 

There is an extract from the above book at:,%20Decoding %20Advertisements%20smaller.pdf  which is worth reading if you can’t get the book itself


 Pointers for the next assignment


• Pick an advertisement or campaign that appeals to you and that you can try to unpick in terms of possible different interpretations.   • Try to think who is being addressed and how, what is the message that the advertisers want the audience to at least think they are being given (in reality they are simply being told “buy this”!) • Remember it is your interpretations that must make up the substance of your assignment. • Although you could perhaps do this in a similar way to assignment 2 I think some extended notes at least would be a good thing to do.

Assignment Two- The displaced image

 In this assignment you’ll explore the ways in which artists and designers use the work of others in their own work and try to come to some understanding of the effects that this has on the understanding of meaning. Artists and designers throughout history have used some or all of the work of others within their own work. This is particularly true since the latter part of the 19th century when mechanical reproduction of images became possible. The term ‘appropriation art’ is often used to describe works of this sort and is a good keyword to use in a preliminary internet search. Probably the most well-know examples of this in the visual world are in advertising and publicity.

Find three examples of work in which the work of others is incorporated.

Find three examples of work that appropriates, copies or references everyday objects and reuses them as works of fine art.

You should use a copy of the work (photocopy or scan for example) and annotate it as well as adding other comments of your own to show how you understand the intentions of the original artist or designer and the ways in which the final image conveys a meaning to the contemporary viewer as well as what that meaning might be. For information on how to annotate an image, see looking at other artists downloadable at Use the Harvard system for your citations. (See the guide on the OCA website…………………….


Fig 1  Laura Keeble



Fig 2 Banksy


Untitled 1.png

Fig. 3 Pablo Picasso



Fig 4 Cindy Sherman


Fig. 5 Andy Warhol.



Fig. 6 Sherrie Levine


Banksy (2006). ‘Wall and Piece’. London. Century publications.

Barthes, R (1999 a).  ‘Rhetoric of the Image’ in visual culture: a reader. Evans, J and Hall, S (eds.). London. SAGE Publications.   P33-41

Barthes, R (1993 b).  ‘Myth Today’ in visual culture: a reader. Evans, J and Hall, S (eds.). London. SAGE Publications.   P33-41

Benjamin, W.(1999) ‘The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction’ in In visual culture: a reader. Evans, J and Hall, S (eds.). London. SAGE Publications.      p. 72-78

Berger, J (1972) ‘Chapter 1’ in Ways of Seeing. Great Britain, Penguin.   p.  7-34

Bourdieu, P (1999) ‘The social definition of photography’ in  visual culture: a reader. Evans, J and Hall, S (eds.). London. SAGE Publications.      p.162-180

Burton, J (2011-12) Sherrie Levine MAYHEM online at [accessed 20 th April 2017]

Brittanica online (2017) Walker Evans online at [accessed 20 th April 2017]

Debord, G (1993). ‘Separation perfected’. In visual culture: A reader. Evans, J and Hall, S (eds), London. SAGE Publications.   P. 95-98

Fenichel, O, (1999). ‘The scoptophilic instinct and identification’. In visual culture: A reader. Evans,J and Hall,S (eds), London. SAGE Publications. p327-40

Gombryk, E (1995) The Story of Art (16th edition). London. Phaidon Press ltd.

Hebidge, D (1999) ‘The bottom line on planet one: squaring up to the face’ in  visual culture: a reader. Evans, J and Hall, S (eds.). London. SAGE Publications.      p. 99-124

Holschbach, S (n.d) Sherrie Levine «After Walker Evans» online at [accessed 20 th April 2017]

Keeble, L (2012) ‘I d like to teach the world to sing’ in John Moores Painting Prize 2012, Liverpool. National Museums Liverpool.

Krauss, R (1999) ‘The Originality of the Avant-Garde’ In Harrison,C. and Wood,P. (eds.). Art in Theory 1900-2000. Oxford. Blackwell Publications. p. 1032-1037

Levine, S (1999) ‘Statement’ In Harrison,C. and Wood,P. (eds.). Art in Theory 1900-2000. Oxford. Blackwell Publications. p. 1038-1039

Mercer, K. (1993). ‘Reading racial fetishism: the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe’. In visual culture: a reader. Evans, J and Hall, S (eds.). London. SAGE Publications.    P. 435-448

Picasso, P.(1999) ‘Picasso Speaks’ 1923 In Harrison,C. and Wood,P. (eds). Art in Theory 1900-2000. Oxford. Blackwell Publications. p. 215-217

Schama, S (2012) Cindy Sherman talks to Simon Schama online at [accessed 20 th April 2017]



Fig. 1 Keeble, L (2012) ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing, 2012’ [enamel paint on soft drink can] In John Moores Painting Prize 2012, Liverpool. National Museums Liverpool: p. 94

Fig. 2 Banksy (2006) ‘Rock with Marker Pen, n.d’ [rock with marker pen] in Banksy ‘Wall and Piece’. London. Century publications. p. 185

Fig. 3 Picasso, P Still Life with Chair and Caning’ (1912)  [Collage]  Online at: [accessed 20 th April 2017]

Fig. 4 Sherman, C ‘Untitled #93’, (1981) [photograph]  Online at: [accessed 20 th April 2017]

 Fig. 5 Warhol, A ‘Marilyn Diptych (1962)  [screenprint]  Online at: [accessed 20 th April 2017]

 Fig. 6 Levine, S ‘After Walker Evans’ (1981)  [Gelatin Silver print].  Online at: [accessed 20 th Apri