Write a critical analysis comparing the domes of the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and the Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul by discussing the typological and formal influences their designers drew from. The discussion must include an analysis os the architectural characteristics and the interior decorative program.
monolithic modes of representation etc) but the regime that provides their ground. Each attempts to do this through a series of critical re-framings and theoretical positions that uncover the inherent inconsistencies and internal fissures in the dominant discourse. Roland Barthes’ work Camera Lucida (2000) is an ideal example of how such ideas can be translated into literary and photographic theory. In his notion of the punctum, for instance, Barthes details how time, sentiment and personal interest can alter our reception of a photograph far beyond the intents of either the photographer or the photographic model. The punctum, or as Barthes details “a partial object” (Barthes, 2000: 43) is that which exists outside of the normalised view of what is representable in a photograph, it elides direct visual recognition and changes with each viewer and viewing; Barthes describes his experience of a photograph by William Klein from 1954 of poverty stricken children in New York’s Little Italy for instance, despite the overtly socio-political message of the photograph (an adult hand holding a gun to a smiling boy’s head) what could be considered the traditional representational, rational meaning, Barthes can not help but “stubbornly see one child’s bad teeth” (Barthes, 2000: 45). In his notion of the “third meaning”, also from his essay of the same name, Barthes points to the ironic and sometimes comical accidental elements of a photograph or a still image of a film, what he calls the obtuse meaning, speaking of a still from Romm’s Ordinary Fascism, he says: I can easily read (in this still) an obvious meaning, that of fascism (aesthetics and symbolics of power, the theatrical hunt), but I can also read an obtuse meaning: the (again) disguised blond silliness of the young quiver-bearer, the flabbiness of his hands and mouth…Goering’s thick nails, his trashy ring… For Barthes then, that which was not intended to be represented – the inherent phallic instability of the Nazi party – can be discerned in photography, not in the elements that form the centre of the picture (the ‘studium’) but those at the periphery that elide the rational and studied gaze. As Shawcross (1997) details, Barthes’ notions here reflect the desire to challenge the kinds of discourses we have looked at above, it stresses the importance of multiple readings when dealing with photographic images and also attempts to challenge traditional (Western phallocentric) notions of single point perspective. In allowing such multiple readings, asserts Barthes, the photographs brings into question the relationship between image and text and, more rightly, exposing the play that exists between the two. In a process that Barthes calls “anchorage” (Barthes, 1977: 38) text pins down the multi-faceted meaning of an image, suppressing the natural polyvocal nature of a photograph and re-establishing the rational search for a unique interpretation. In the series of photographs by Gillian Wearing, for example, where ordinary members of the public were photographed holding up textual messages such as “I’m Desperate” and “Help”, it is the text that is assumed to be the underlying truth behind the photographic image, highlighting the extent that textual and linguistic signifiers have historically dominated visual ones. Feminist photographers have often played with the inherent slippage of meaning within the photographic image; the work of Cindy Sherman, for instance, exemplifies many of the issues we have been discussing here. Photographed in a series of ironic and iconic poses and ‘disguises’ Sherman’s work is both postmodern, in that it is self referential and kitsch but it is also considered feminist in that it attempts to rediscover and reclaim patriarchally constructed images of womanhood (the housewife, the screen starlet, the victim etc). As Shawcross (1997) details, by using herself as a model, Sherman also deconstructs the notion of identity and surface appearances – who or what are we reacting to in these images, Sherman the photographer, Sherman th>