would like to compare religious signs with the way people worship religion. I would like to point out the way worship is conducted to create a conversation about religious values. Hopefully will promote openness about religion.
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I could not find a larger version of this poster at the Basecamp site. Unfortunately, much of the detail is not visible enough in the thumbnail on the Design 21 site to provide much commentary.
Does this design reflect a(n)... • well developed and easily understood concept?
It is obvious that the poster deals with religion. However, due to the complexity of the composition – especially the use of the montage technique – the core message is not well articulated.
• level of social engagement? The subject matter is inherently complex and requires great sensitivity when addressed. The approach to juxtapose a variety of religious/spiritual symbols is risky because these symbols have a diversity of meanings and when used together, semiotic subtexts spontaneously occur.
Even though the detail of the poster is not clear on the thumbnail sizes, I noticed that most symbols are repeated, but not in the same ratio, (more Shiva and menorah than others) which make me wonder why and is it supposed to have a meaning. In addition, several of the ‘mainstream’ religious symbols such as the dove (Calvinism), lamb (Christianity), star and crescent moon (Islam), fish (Christianity), hand (Jain), jin yang (Taoism), daruma (Buddhism) Buddha’s eye (Buddhism), double happiness (Taoist), tomoe and torii gate (Shinto), etc. are missing, which could implying exclusivity rather than inclusiveness.
In addition, the placement of some of the symbols on the figure in the foreground may offend some people because it again creates semiotic subtexts related to hierarchy, positioning and cultural sensitivities. For instance, the Catholic cross on top of the head can be interpreted as an adornment which can offend some, the Shiva positioned as a ‘tie’ can offend some, and the fact that the photograph of a Muslim gathering is placed directly behind the left hand (regarded as the unclean hand) can also offend some people.
• understanding of the issues reflected in the poster? As above.
• sense of internationalism and accessibility? As above.
Posted June 27, 2008
By Jacques Lange