Visual Rhetoric & Art

The major theme for this week’s readings seems to be focused on perception and art; what the artist wants us to see and what we actually see. While choosing an artifact for this week originally seemed difficult, I instantly knew what I wanted to present after reading Anne Wysocki’s text. She points out in her conclusion that the two CD-ROMs had very different approaches for guiding the audience. The Barnes CD focused on art as something to collect and left little to the imagination, while the Maeght CD focused on art as a temporal process and afforded much more creativity for the audience. While reading her preference for the Maeght CD’s approach, I could not help but think of Matthieu Robert-Ortis‘s wire sculpture in Paris. While I haven’t seen this amazing sculpture in person (although I hope to make it to Paris someday), videos and pictures of the piece have been circulating social media for months.


Look familiar? No? Maybe you remember it this way:



If you haven’t seen the sculpture yet, you may think I’ve accidentally included the wrong photograph. Trust me, it’s no mistake. Robert-Ortis creates optical illusion sculptures, like this one, using a 3d printer to create sculpture that changes depending on the way you view it. In order to see the “other side” one must walk around the sculpture before the other animal/s  can be seen. I’ve included a video below so you can get the full effect.


It is interesting how cropping a picture or viewing a statue from a different angle can change the rhetorical message the piece presents, like our discussion of the Mona Lisa from last class. I realize too, that I have altered the “conversation” myself simply by how I chose to show you the sculpture. Your perception is slightly different depending on how you see the sculpture first. If you only see photographs, you might think that there are two wire sculptures of different animals. But if you see the video, or better yet the sculpture in person, you are able to get the full effect of the piece.

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