Visual culture: the interpretational options of a visual narrative In visual media


The technological progress of media has been accompanied by a change in their narrative through the linear codes reading, which are the result of a diachronic perception of their phonetic literacy. This leads to their substitution by two-dimensional codes by which we read texts of the so-called technical images. French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière in one of his reflections on the book narrations notes that the book is not the only medium that is read. He points to the fact that not only a letter can be read, but a text banner at a demonstration, tombstone or computer monitor as well [1]. And, if a text is placed into any media content available, it is usually subordinate especially to the image that then becomes its substitute. With the gradual preferring of the image up to the verge of its absolutism, the nowadays modern culture can be comprehended as the Visual culture.

The current media narrative with its strong inclination to the impressive image violates the classic sujet composition and intensifies it into “only” impressive fragmented story. Today, the audio-visual media purposefully distort the sensory balance in favour of a hypertrophied visual reality. This paper confronts the usual methodology with the study of how can an image tell a modern story using a sample of existing media products. It points out that viewing, e.g. a cinematographic work, defines its narrative as a process of comprehending its story, resulting in the narrative becoming the product of comprehending its media message. The paper specifically focuses on what is happening outside the shot as a form of a revitalizing element, while, especially in the film or advertisement, an intentional emptying of the supersaturated visual field by its creator occurs. It critically perceives the stance when everything has been narrated through images with a clear dominance of thematic recycling or repetition of pictures.

Keywords:  narrative,  media  message,  image,  scene,  movie,  expressive  category,  the  actuality  of  an expression

PhDr. Pavel Urban, PhD.