to advance the notion of alcohol as a shield

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Blue Apple

Senior Member
Persian (Iran)
Does the red sentence mean "Noganosh is able to extend the notion of alcohol to a shield, a critical parody, and a grim semiotic sign of the times"? And does "grim semiotic sign of the times" mean the shield that has a historical meaning with regard to war and brutality?


Context:

In another shield, Shield for a Modern Warrior, or Concessions to Beads and Feathers in Indian Art (1984), flattened beer cans comprise the shield with suspended feathers, beads and fur tails. Allan Ryan writes: ‘What makes this particular piece both visually compelling and socially relevant is the ironic play between flattened
beer cans and a warrior’s shield. Noganosh is able to advance the notion of alcohol as a shield … and as a critical parody, it is a grim semiotic sign of the times.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    It is essential to provide the source of your example: could you do that? :thumbsup:

    to advance a notion
    - to present an idea/concept [for approval/consideration]
    semiotic - a rare (or possibly pleonastic) use, perhaps meaning "indicating (adj)"
    the times - the current state of society.

    The reference to the beer can is a recognition that the "Indians" - the native people of the Americas - have a problem with alcohol. In its turn, alcohol is seen as a dangerous and unhealthy means of dealing with (protecting oneself from) the pressures of society - it has nothing to do with "war and brutality."
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    A "Sign of the times" is an idiom, meaning "something typical of the way things are today". It's usually, or perhaps always, negative.

    "A semiotic sign" is a bit of wordplay. As Paul indicates, it's a pleonasm. I think the writer wants to force us to see the cliched phrase "sign of the times" with the full meaning of "sign", as used in semiotics.
     
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