Forum D

camera-girl-5  124659356_bbe1e5b661_o   Banksy’s work…


47_450px  Work of Billboard Liberation Front


Would you characterize the work above by Banksy and the Billboard Liberation Front “transgressive”? What does “transgressive” mean, connotate? Who gets to define what is and what is not “transgressive”? How does the term “transgressive” determine how such work in public space is received?  What other terms might some argue might be more appropriate or accurate to describe such work above? How is the term “transgressive” itself a contested space?

3 responses to “Forum D

  1. I would not characterize the work above as “transgressive.” I would define “transgressive” as something that goes beyond the boundary or limit, such as violating a law or command. I think these displays of feeling are ways of expressing ones beliefs and ideas and should not be penalized for. In most cases, the social public decides what and what is not “transgressive,” but realistically it’s the law enforcement officials that decide the line of breaking the law and expressing one’s beliefs. “Transgressive” determines how such work in public space is received because it can be a visual depiction of something out of the norm creating a stir of arguments between various perspectives of people’s beliefs and opinions. Another term that can be used to describe the above work could be self-expression because its people who are feeling a certain way about things and want to publicly express that with visuals for all to see. “Transgressive” itself is a contested public space because who interprets when something is going too far away and when someone’s rights are being violated for self-expression.

  2. Scollon and Scollon a transgressive sign as a “sign which is in place but in some way unauthorized.” (Discourses in Place, 146). The works by Banksy and the Billboard Liberation Front can be considered transgressive. Depending on the viewer these signs may be in the ‘wrong place’. Banksy works can be classified as examples of “graffiti – things transgressively written on stones and walls in public spaces against expectation or in violation of a public expectation that such surfaces would be kept clean and ‘unpolluted’.” (Discourses in Place, 147). Viewers may not expect such illustrations on “such surfaces” and these sign may thus fall into the category of transgressive sign. Audiences that don’t have religious beliefs can also consider the Billboard Liberation Front billboard transgressive. This billboard may be “in violation” the use of signs in public space. The term “transgressive” thus shows that such works are received differently depending on the viewer.
    Some may argue that a more appropriate term for such works may be decontextualization. This shows that “some forms of signs and discourses are severed from any placement in the real world context.” (Discourses in Place, 147). The fact that these works are but a snapshot of their environment may hide the extent to which these images may act as transgressive and unacceptable. This comes to illustrate how the term “transgressive” is a contested space. This term is up to interpretation by the viewer and this means that there is not one sign that can be purely transgressive because at least one viewer will not see it as such even if it means the viewer is the creator of the sign.

  3. I would consider these signs to be categorized as Transgressive Semiotics. Scollon and Scollon define this term to be a sign which violates (intentionally or accidentally) the conventional semiotics at that place such as a discarded snack food wrapper or graffiti, any sign in the wrong place. I think it was the goal of Banksy to be Transgressive in nature when he constructed these signs. I feel it is his overall goal as an artist to be Transgressive when making his sign and graffiti artwork. This is what helps him make valid points and bring discussion to the community he erected the sign in. Additionally, I feel that the community’s views get to define what Transgressive is and what is not. There is a general consensus of what is appropriate and what is controversial in a living community. People may have different views and I feel Bansky’s work helps bring out these different views of people, who would otherwise be too timid to express themselves.

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