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Ocula 22 Vol. 21  |  April 2020  |  DOI: 10.12977/ocula2020-2  |  METADATA ➞ PDF  |  Booklet ➞ PDF |  <
 
  

 
Be cool. How a Cultural Icon is Born




Contributors to this Issue: Giuseppe Balirano, Andrea Bellavita, Andrea Bernardelli, Paolo Bertetti, Flavia Cavaliere, Lucia Corrain, Mauro Ferraresi, Eduardo Grillo, Alessandro Iannucci, Vincenzo Maggitti, Antonella Mascio, Marco Mazzoni, Roberto Mincigrucci, Ottavia Mosca, Mario Panico, Marilena Parlati, Anna Riboldi, Federica Turco, Ilaria Ventura Bordenca, Nicolò Villani, Salvatore Zingale.
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Some cultural elements immediately recognizable and repeated in various contexts maintain a productive capability and repeatedly capture the audience's interest. These elements can be defined as cultural icons.
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The aim of this article is to outline the path of growth and development that proceeds from the icon to the cultural icon, defining its semiotic status and describing the specificities of its formation. The cultural icon is, from the semiotic point of view, a symbolic hypoicon gene |... ⇲
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The article identifies three properties of cultural icons: the recognizability, the ability to generate a community, the tendency of being “reworked”. The latter recalls Eco’s thought that, in order to become “iconic”, a text must be “dismembered” and enjoyed one piece at a time. L |... ⇲
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There are many famous women that, in the last years, has taken the floor, speaking about women (i.e., with the aim to speak about equality and gender violence). Their speeches, in great international visibility contexts, have created a kind of short circuit among their iconicity as |... ⇲
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Over the years, queer icons have in the main displayed a dual yet conflicting function: that of cautiously dissimulating reality, while blatantly representing it. This ambiguous play, with its geographical limits and contextual caveats, has provided LGBTIQ+ communities with spaces  |... ⇲
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The main goal of this contribution is to investigate the way in which a figure of memory, the image of a person linked to an event of the past, symbolically travels in a specific culture. Investigating the role of recognition and repetition, I will reframe the modality of rememberi |... ⇲
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Mythological representations have always symbolically embodied human beings’ ancestral fears and wishes. Yet today the reading of the languages of new myths can convey the key to an understanding of the historical period we are living in. Nowadays one of the most popular cultural i |... ⇲
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According to scholars, today’s political leaders face with the “paradox of democratic leadership”: on the one hand, they have to appear as strong statesmen, in possession of particular skills that gave them the authority to rule the people. On the other hand, they are allowed to ru |... ⇲
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Achilles as the hero of courage, strength, and action vs. Ulysses as the hero of travel, knowledge, and narrative. The ancient view is found in the modern reception, especially in mass culture, in which the two heroes play an iconic role that goes far beyond their original literary |... ⇲
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From 1912 and for numerous decades, Sax Rohmer contributed to create, and recreate, an archvillain of tremendous vigour, Fu Manchu, whose routing lives, appallingly magnetic powers, subterranean connections made him a global star. In this paper I peruse this multi-faceted serial ic |... ⇲
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The article is about the presence of the Frankenstein icon in today’s culture and its relevance to identifying some trends in its circulation through media. The author has tried to outline some important steps in this evolution of the icon, referring to specific examples of mediati |... ⇲
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In George Orwell’s 1984, Big Brother is the inscrutable leader of Oceania. Thanks to his media pervasiveness, his image assumes, an iconic value, expression par excellence of control and power. However, he is an icon without reference: no one has ever really seen the Big Brother. H |... ⇲
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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Penny Dreadful represent two cases of meta-finctional ucronia: the characters, belonging to a previous fictional tradition (the Victorian novel), become the protagonists of a new narrative, which follows developments and alternative setting |... ⇲
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Last generation TV series – the Tv series of the last two decades – seem to be a true obsession for their audiences, to the point these series can be defined as cult series. The main element which raises such veneration is the protagonist’s figure, or of a character who becomes a c |... ⇲
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The contemporary media landscape is more and more pervaded by serial narrations called character-based. This tendency can be traced back to the dawn of the modern seriality, finding in characters as Sherlock Holmes the main cornerstones of popular serial narration. In all of this,  |... ⇲
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In the current media scene, the TV series are a flagship product. They tell exciting stories, following a cinematic logic (Mittell 2015) and attract an ever wider audience. In some cases a not well defined temporality is called into question, a sort of near future, often accompanie |... ⇲
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It is enough to look around to be “touched” by an immense quantity of reproductions of works of art of every age and style. Not any image, but certain works that have become part of the collective imagination until they become true icons. What allows an image to become an icon? In  |... ⇲
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This paper analyses product packaging as cultural icons that condense and spread socio-cultural values. Some global brand’s packs became unmistakable signs of those brands (take the contour bottle of Coca-Cola or the Nutella jar) but also objects able to communicate consumption val |... ⇲
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Design has made everyday artifacts less and less anonymous, first recognizing their authorship and then providing them with a title and a name. Some of these artifacts have started to live a “cultural life” of their own, so much so that they are considered far beyond their use perf |... ⇲



 
 
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ISSN 1724-7810   |   DOI: 10.12977/ocula

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