Estetyka PRL – teksty wizualne i znaki w propagandzie
THE AESTHETICS OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF POLAND – VISUAL TEXTS AND SIGNS IN PROPAGANDA
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In the totalitarian system propaganda creates a cohesive, mendacious world, easily controlled. A unification of the visual language codes facilitates capturing differences – subjugation renders ”invisible” while non-adaptation or rejection of the established pattern produces the effect of disclosure. Particular fragments of existence in People’s Poland contain two discernible categories used for the introduction of order, which comprised the foundation of propaganda and originally were the foundation of the success of totalitarian authorities and then contributed to their downfall. Both in some way belong to each other: myth and hero, the cultural hero. Images of leaders were the constructs of mental portrayals whose realisations assumed an arbitrary and canonical character. The formula of such texts produces the impression of texts “encoded” in folk-type culture. The hieratic nature of portraits is particularly exasperating within the context of public ceremonies, and visual texts are modelled by, for all practical purpose, the only formal directive characteristic for the religious iconographic theme in its most perfect version, i.e. The Last Supper: a long table, the presidium rostrum, with a charismatic protagonist performing the gesture of a greeting and the party apostles gazing at the deity. A further part of the text analyses illustrations of state visits and “semi-private” likenesses, with wives or informal circumstances. The indolence of the propaganda of People’s Poland, incapable of creating a single meaningful sign, a pictogram that would be universally recognisable and stir emotions, offers much food for thought. While striving towards symbolization, propaganda concentrated on the natural language, ignoring visual metaphoric, which once again refers us to the folklore type of culture.
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