Thursday, 7 April 2011

Division Bell

From a pure photographic form ‘The Division Bell’ album, designed by Strom Thorgerson, released in 1994 is that of two huge metal half faces in an upright position in a ploughed field looking at each other but also creating a third face, both not viewed at the same time, as Thorgerson and Curzon state

“Two heads facing, or talking to each other (‘Keep Talking’), making up a third face, which would get in the way both visually and literally, seemed like a good idea. The single eyes of the two faces looking at each other become the two eyes of a single face looking at you, the viewer. It was intended that the viewer should not see both at the same time. One was the single face, or the two profiles. If one saw both it was alternating, like an optical illusion, which was even better because it meant that the viewer was interacting, or communicating with the image directly, viscerally” (1997, p.130).
Oddly enough, this image, which is also on the front of Storm Thorgersons’ book in not displayed on or within the cover of Division Bell album, the subtle difference is that on the album the reference to talking is that of four spotlights and the unpublished image has three red flags.

This image is discussing linguistics, the act of communication either to someone else or from someone to us. The eyes look like bulls eyes from a dart board and in turn can be connoted to that of talking to your targeted audience. When viewing as two faces talking to each other, we feel like a third person, an almost non-entity within that diologue, perhaps also infringing on their privacy, yet when viewed as a full face, the eyes look menacing, due to the slightly lower angle and our looking up give it a sense of domination, one can also see a switch from two people talking to combining into a single joint force about to reprimand the eavesdropper, us.

Thorgerson, S. & Curzon, P. (1997). Mind Over Matter, The Images Of Pink Floyd. London: Sanctuary Publishing Limited.

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