We are all artists in our own right. We may not be as creative as the painter, or the poet or even the dancer, but as the saying goes beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore what might look good to you, may not be that great to me, it may not even look good, however we are all entitled to our own opinions at the end of the day. The same way we interpret a painting in different ways, it is the same way we interpret anything and everything thing has a different meaning to us all. We extract meaning from the simplest things; words, clothing, songs, even non-verbal communication, and we all gather different meanings or interpretations from all of these. There cannot be one true meaning or representation to something as we are all free to extract another meaning from the ‘thing’ we are viewing, or listening to at that point in time.
Even the word representation has more than one meaning. Giles and Middleton gives three definitions; to ‘represent’ meaning to stand in for, as in the case of the country’s flag, to ‘represent’ meaning to speak or act on behalf of, as in the sentence ‘A spokesperson on behalf of…’ and finally to ‘represent’ meaning to re-present, as in a biography or historical writing re-presents the events of the past. These definitions of prove that representation is one of the key practices by which meaning is produced, (Giles and Middleton) as we gather different meanings from items be it a song, dance or photo, every one of us will elicit a different representation or meaning and that signifies alone that we are all artists in our own right.
This is quote is the title of an album by Sandi Thom and it is by far my favorite quote of all times. The meaning or representation I gathered from this quote may be different from the one you may have. For me this is my personal “”quote”, I live by this statement as sometimes no matter how tired, frustrated or upset you are it is better to smile and watch all your stress melt away. I smile sometimes for no reason and sometimes I see the questioning look on people faces and I do not do it purposefully but I am alive, healthy, i work, go to school and I am thankful for so many things it is impossible not to smile at times. My re-creation of this quote makes it impossible for me makes it impossible for me no to know the importance of smiling. This quote represents an aspect of me in a nutshell.
We use language everyday to communicate and sometimes the meaning is lost and there is misunderstanding as sometimes what we represent is offending to someone else whether it is the language we use, the clothes we wear or even the gestures used. We all portray something different to everyone else as we are all unique, and our patterns are all different.
What does this represent? Can you tell me if you see the patterns, the smiley faces, the ones that look grey or the ones that mock you? What do these black dots represent? If I was an “artist” or maybe a connoisseur of art I may have said something “intellectually stimulating about how black signifies the unknown”, but because I am me, what I see is different from you or anyone else, or even what the artist shows. I see rows of dots so black that at times the look grey, constantly showing me different patterns signifying changes and the differences people see. The representation I just described to you may not even be what you were thinking, but that is what I see. The meaning I gather from anything is going to be different as we all understand and recognize the differences in everything. What meanings or representation do you gather from a photo of a white canvas, a fish swimming or even an images of yourself. Every single portrayal or meaning is different and significant as it shows that representations have more than one meaning. What I am seeing is not what you are going to see, however that is what makes us so special, our ability to see the differences in everything, to be able to understand and extract different depictions of something.
What representation does this poem have to you, what do you gather from this. The poet may have had a different idea of what this poem represents and after reading this, your depiction will be different from what he felt in that point in time. Representation, such an ambiguous word, what does it mean to you, as I just explained what it means to me. Please, tell me, I want to know.
Till next time. Peace Out!!!
Giles, Judy and Tim Middleton. Representation. Studying Culture: A Practical Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. 2001. 56 – 80