Sunday, November 23, 2008


Here's another dump find that should be an interesting read. I was drawn to the typographic design and also to the word itself: "Stigma." It's a powerful word, to be sure, and not a positive one, but a word I understand from personal experience. I grew up with two: one physical, the other social. Today I have learned to embrace the concept and boldly flaunt mine in the face of those who would judge me. It has become an important personal element in some of my art: stigma as symbol!

"The Greeks, who were apparently strong on visual aids, originated the term stigma to refer to bodily signs designed to expose something unusual and bad about the moral status of the signifier. The signs were cut or burnt into the body and advertised that the bearer was a slave, a criminal, or a traitor--a blemished person, ritually polluted, to be avoided, especially in public places. Later, in Christian times, two layers of metaphor were added to the term: the first referred to bodily signs of holy grace that took the form of eruptive blossoms on the skin; the second. . . referred to bodily signs of physical disorder. Today the term is widely used in something like the original sense, but is applied more to the disgrace itself than to the bodily evidence of it." [Chapter 1, paragraph 1.]

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