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24/09/2010 / Lynn Rabbitts

Chapter 1: Jean Baudrillard and the Chicago Institute of Art

From Chapter 1 of Communication and Culture, Schirato and Yell.

Being an audio person who treasures words, history above all else, I have been ignorant of art for most of my life. I would look at a piece, consider it, yawn and drag myself to the next painting. “Art is boring” remained a tenant of my life until an art major dragged me to the Chicago Institute of Art one rainy Thursday–it was free.

Schirato and Yell state “… markers of communication … will be read and evaluated differently by different people, depending on the cultural contexts they bring to any communication practice, and on the specific contexts in which that practice takes place” (pg8).

Baudrillard was exactly the sort of communicator who put me off of art, or perhaps he and I would have agreed that art is dead though I would’ve been more of the opinion it had never lived.

My art major friend saved me. He explained Pablo Picasso’s Guernica in a way I was able to identify through George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia; Nighthawks by Edward Hooper (now my favorite painter) with the year 1942 and the changes, the war this country went through. We both spoke different dialects yet I was able to understand.

Context is a blessing and a curse. From one source it will be off putting, from another it will put into language exactly what we have been wanting to hear.

That said, thanks to Schirato and Yell, I have now added Baudrillard’s final book, America, to my Amazon.com Wish List.

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One Comment

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  1. bambiprof / Nov 11 2010 6:37 pm

    Greetings, Hans–
    Wonderful writing! Okay. . . please, please, please ensure that you have connected with every criterion on the blog assignment sheet–e.g. need a media post!

    Picky ooney. . . “tenants” should be tenets. . .

    General understanding of Chapter 1 and the idea of cultural literacy. . . clearly assimilated and woven into the blog discussion. Did you express an opionion and example, yes indeed. I hope it does not disrupt the elegance of your rich writing voice; however, it is important to offer some kind of descriptive summary of the chapter contents (doesn’t have to be long. . . ). Then, launch into your understanding and analysis of your heart’s desire–as long as you connect it (explicitly) to what you have read. By the way. . . I love Baudrillard’s America. Seem to have loaned it out and am missing it. I especially love his takes on Salt Lake City and Santa Barbara, CA. Let me know if you got the book:)

    If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reply. . .keep writing. Reading this is a great pleasure:) hr

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