Words and meaning, form and content

I’ve been sorting through the office, a much overdue task since the renovation / carpet / painting / new desks / renewed study habit, and found a copy of the June 2010 Monthly which I’d been keeping aside.  Why?  Because I remember being quite taken by this opening line from Juliana Engberg’s Artful Excess review:

The marketing material for the seventeenth Biennale of Sydney displays a lusty engagement with the semiotics of font.

When I first read that I remember thinking, “I wish I could write an opening line like that one day.” It sounds good when you read it out loud, it flows and is so damned descriptive!  Words and meaning.

And it’s not as if I’m a huge participant or observer of the art world. Because of where and how I live these days, I don’t get a chance to do Biennale stuff and discover people’s eclecticism and all that other arty stuff – I’m lucky if I make it into the WA Art Gallery for the school holiday Lego activities. But upon engaging with Engberg’s words, I just wanted to dive head first into the brochure and wallow; first, to explore the form, and then maybe even float about the content and dream a little.

Form and content. Words and meaning.  Learning these two bits of cultural theory were a great revelation for me. And that’s why I wish I could write an opening line like that one day.

[And now that I’ve been to the Biennale site, I see what she was getting at!]

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