Bark Frameworks

FRAMES + MEDIA: Framing Four Ways (Yoko Ono)

Posted on March 27th, 2014

Frames carry multiple messages. Around a work of art a frame can establish an emphatic border—the artwork is inside the frame/the world is outside; or it may act as an almost invisible bridge from the artwork to the wall and the room. The frame may have more to do with the décor surrounding it than the work of art within it; or a frame may serve as an ornate halo, bestowing honor or status on the work framed.

Frames appear in many forms in the media, especially in ads. If we look closely at these frames and consider their style and type, whether rich or austere, bold or delicate, we can learn something about how we are intended to perceive and understand the thing within the frame and its context.

The point of these blogs is to call attention to all the things a frame can alter, affect, and mean. 

Framing Four Ways (Yoko Ono)

Here’s an ad from The New York Times last year - Yoko Ono and a collection of frames.

1. Her dark glasses, with their decorated frame, pushed down on her nose, Yoko rivets us with her gaze—eyeball to eyeball. The engagement is bold—her glasses pushed down, no frames to impede our connection. And no make-up framing the eyes either (of course there’s make-up, but it’s invisible); direct, unmediated and unadorned contact.

2. Yoko is holding up a gilded reproduction Louis XV frame—the height of royal elegance, or at least the look of the height of royal elegance—to frame her face. It’s jarring that the avant-gardiste Ono is framed in such an antiquated symbol, but of course frames are not often given much thought. Presumably, to the creators of this ad the presence of an imitation French royal frame conveys only distinction: Yoko Ono, “Woman of Distinction.”

3. Floating in front of Yoko is the simplest sort of frame, a border composed of just one line. It looks like a cartoon “speech balloon”, which is witty in a way— the speech balloon/frame containing the words “A Conversation With Yoko Ono” and  the speaker is TimesTalks.

4. And there’s one more simple line frame. This one is bold and fixes our attention on the command: BUY TICKETS NOW. Emphatic and direct.

In one picture, four frames serving four functions.

By Jed Bark, Bark Frameworks.

Filed Under: BarkBlog

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