Exercise 2:Deconstruction Task

Rip out an advertising image from a newspaper supplement and circle and write on as many parts of the image as you can. Comment on what it is, what it says about the product and why you think it’s there. You could use this as the basis
for your assignment if you feel it’s taking you somewhere interesting. Or you could adopt this method for your assignment preparation. Come back to this exercise when you’ve reached the end of Part Four and see if you can add anything to your analysis.



In this exercise, I have deconstructed the image using different tools-semiotics, connotation, detonation etc, and have learned the following:

  • If I look at an image passively I skim and almost unconsciously produce a meaning-this is in line with what Barthes calls ‘Studium’- ‘a kind of education (civility, politeness) that allows discovery of the operator’. 
  • If I look deeper and begin to pull apart the elements it becomes a much richer experience
  • In this example, when I looked at the image through a denotation analysis I was surprised (not too much but a little) at my prejudices and how cultural norms shaped my perception
  • In advertising, the meaning is fixed (or as fixed as it can be) by the use of anchors -word, staements-to make it work one way or another i.e. I am the target audience and it resonates.
  • Images are malleable and 
  • Culture pays a big part in image interpretation and understanding