at the limit of signification

< Previous | Next >

Blue Apple

Senior Member
Persian (Iran)
The following text describes Interim by Mary Kelly. Does the quote: "the images have the quality of the apparition that puts the image at the limit of signification" mean:

"the images have some spirit-like quality that puts them within the borders of meaningfulness (i.e. they have meanings)"?

Description: The items of clothing in the other images cast shadows on the wall behind, the distortions of which further allude to the body, but one evacuated of its organs and flesh. Parveen Adams states that the images ‘have the quality of the apparition that puts the image at the limit of signification’ (Art and Psychoanalysis by Maria Walsh).​

InterimPartICorpusDetailMenace1.jpg

(source of the picture)
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "the images have some spirit-like quality that puts them within the borders of meaningfulness (i.e. they have meanings)"?
    The images barely have any meaning that we can identify. They don't clearly serve as symbols of meaningful things in the ordinary world.
     

    Blue Apple

    Senior Member
    Persian (Iran)
    The images barely have any meaning that we can identify. They don't clearly serve as symbols of meaningful things in the ordinary world.
    Hi owlman5. But your interpretation is in contrast with this thread. You say "at the limit of" means "almost out of" while the other thread says it means "within".
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi owlman5. But your interpretation is in contrast with this thread. You say "at the limit of" means "almost out of" while the other thread says it means "within".
    Well, it's a liminal area.

    At limits of signification means at the very outermost bounds of meaning. All images and utterances carry some signification even if just try to figure out why someone is taking gibberish or making nonverbal noise, or in this case taking abstract photographs.

    So it's right at that outside edge of meaning where the image doesn't have any clear meaning.

    The 3 possibilities are

    Within the limits (it has meaning)

    Outside the limits (has no meaning)

    At the limits (it is almost outside meaning, but it's art and we know it must signify something, no art critic will ever say an artwork means nothing )

    It's at the limit because we can see it's a deliberate work and it's a photo of something, but we don't know what it's of
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    At the limits (it is almost outside meaning, but it's art and we know it must signify something, no art critic will ever say an artwork means nothing )

    It's at the limit because we can see it's a deliberate work and it's a photo of something, but we don't know what it's of
    :thumbsup: This is a good explanation of what at the limit of signification should mean.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top