Week 7, Task 4: Questions to Topic Sentence

 You will by now have some good background knowledge on your essay topic.

1. Revisit the ideas you are addressing in your essay and list them.

  • The Myth of The Photographic Truth
  • The changing image of identity and the stereotypes that come with it
  • Artist Concerns
  • Going through the history

2. Re-read your essay question.

‘How to see yourself’ (Mirzoeff, Chapter 1. 31-69) draws attention to the changing nature of imagining, and of imaging identity and ‘the self’. Discuss some of the different ways that representations of identity have shifted over time. Draw upon some of Mirzoeff’s examples to explain different concerns artists, photographers and others have had about identity which have influenced the kinds of visual texts they produce. Use least one example from Mirzoeff and find 1-2 other examples. The discussion should explore historical change or how a marginalised identity confronts dominant identities.

3. Show your selected visual texts and discuss your ideas with your friends, peers, whanau, family, parents or flatmates –this is a helpful focus exercise because you will have to explain your thinking to people who might be fresh to the ideas and the relationships you are making between those and the visual texts.


Image 1: Illustrates “the myth of the photographic truth”, changing views of the public, also introduces photography as an ideology and how it is seen to represent the ‘truth’

Image 2: image 2 looks at the denotative vs. connotative aspect of photography and art practices, and how things are imposed by visual analysis rather than scientific deduction. This image is ironic, showing the artist play the audiences game of stereotypes.

Image 3: Illustrates manipulation these days, manipulation of the image including lighting, make-up etc to show best features. Media growth and stability. Role Model. “selfish” selfies. accessibility. The Artists concerns, people’s views on the topic of selfies and this generation.

4. What are their thoughts? Did they have a different perspective? Or did they offer you different or new ideas to think about?

5. What questions did they ask you?

Following on from above:

1. List the 3-5 key ideas you have focused your essay discussion on.

  • The Myth of the Photographic Truth
    • Denotative vs. Connotative
    • The shift of imagining identity over time
  • The self-portrait
  • Audience response
  • Artist concern

2. Turn the 3- 5 key ideas into questions.

  • How has the Myth of the Photographic Truth changed the way that art and design practices are seen and/or created? (denotative vs. connotative, photo-manipulation) 
  • What effect does the artists concern play on the visual image that they produce? (Artist concern, target audience, symbolism)
  • How does personal worldview change the way that the audience responds to the visual image? (Perspectives)
  • How has the self-portrait changed the way that the audience looks at identity (world view, response, target audience) 

3. Then turn each question into a succinct single sentence statement.

  • The Myth of the Photographic truth has changed the way art and design practices are seen and/or created.
  • An artist’s concern has an effect on the visual image in which they produce
  • Personal worldview changes the way that the audience responds to a visual image
  • The self-portrait has changed the way that an audience looks at identity.

4. Re-read your essay question and the different re-phrasings of it that you made in I/S Wk 4.

5. Do the single sentence statements relate to your essay question?


Write a paragraph by combining each of the single sentence statements and connect these to the ideas in essay question you are answering. Revise and edit it and upload as a Blog Post for this week (100-170 words)

The nature of imagining identity has evolved through art and design practices over the last couple of centuries. The evolving self-portrait has made a massive impact on the interpretation of identity. The Myth of the Photographic Truth has changed the way that art is created, concerns that artists hold also play a massive effect on the outcome of a visual image and all of these factors open up an opportunity for the audience to respond to the visual image depending on their world views.


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