For my final foray into the course notes in this section (following my thoughts on the subjects of levels of meaning and editing / sequencing) I return to the thorny subject of images and text.

The course notes summarise the Barthesian concepts of anchoring and relay text before going on to give examples of the latter. I’ve been comfortable since the start (of Assignment 3, in fact) that my use of text is very much relay; in fact my biggest challenge is persuading views to not read the text as anchoring ‘captions’.

Text is key to this body of work as I aim to associate the images with text fragments relating to things that I have forgotten. The challenge has always been how to present the text with the images.

I won’t revisit the detail now but I have gone through several iterations: here, here, here and here.

As noted recently, the breakthrough came from the crit session on the recent study visit, where a tutor suggested trying moving the text portion to an introduction, away from the images themselves – a suggestion echoed by a fellow student in my hangout study group.

So this is where it has ended up – an introductory page at the start of the book version (and I think also an introductory text-image for online or exhibition presentation?):


The fading of the text opacity down the page is intentional, as is the resemblance to a poem (visually at least – it doesn’t scan…).

Whilst not part of the work itself, the book version ends with an artist statement:

artist statement

I think that’s enough about text!


Barthes, R. (1977) ‘Rhetoric of the Image’ in Image Music Text. London: Fontana.