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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Related: attention - beholder - cult following - group - entertainment - fan - public - show - spectacle - voyeurism

On audience and cult status: A text reaches cult status due to an audience's relationship to the text. This makes the designation of 'cult' to a text difficult to define. Continued success amongst a subset of the audience many years after the text's original release appears to be a key defining factor. -- [Apr 2004]

Pollice Verso (1872) - Jean-Léon Gérôme


An audience is a group of people who participate in and experience or encounter a work of art, literature, theatre, music or academics in any medium. Audience members participate in different ways in different kinds of art; some events invite overt audience participation and others allowing only modest clapping and criticism and reception. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audience [Mar 2006]

Audience theory

Audience theory is an element of thinking that developed within academic literary theory and cultural sStudies.

With a specific focus on rhetoric, some, such as Walter Ong, have suggested that the audience is a construct made up by the rhetor and the rhetorical situation the text is addressing. Others, such as Ruth Mitchell and Mary Taylor have said writers and speakers actually can target their communication to address a real audience. Some others like Ede and Lunsford try to mingle these two approaches and create situations where audience is "fictionalized," as Ong would say, but in recognition of some real attributes of the actual audience.

There is also a wide range of media theory and communication studies theories about the audience's role in any kind of mediated communication. A sub-culturally focussed and Marxism-inflected take on the subject arose as the 'New audience theory' or 'Active Audience Theory' from the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies during the 1980s. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audience_theory [Aug 2005]

Artists in the Audience: Cults, Camp, and American Film Criticism (2001) - Greg Taylor

Artists in the Audience: Cults, Camp, and American Film Criticism (2001) - Greg Taylor [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Gone with the Wind an inspiration for the American avant-garde? Mickey Mouse a crucial source for the development of cutting-edge intellectual and aesthetic ideas? As Greg Taylor shows in this witty and provocative book, the idea is not so far-fetched. One of the first-ever studies of American film criticism, Artists in the Audience shows that film critics, beginning in the 1940s, turned to the movies as raw material to be molded into a more radical modernism than that offered by any other contemporary artists or thinkers. In doing so, they offered readers a vanguard alternative that reshaped postwar American culture: nonaesthetic mass culture reconceived and refashioned into rich, personally relevant art by the attuned, creative spectator.

Back Cover
"Greg Taylor's Artists in the Audience is one of the more innovative works of cinema studies that I have read in some time. It's essential reading for anyone interested in the history and theory of film criticism, and it touches as well on important issues in art history and cultural studies."--Robert Sklar, author of Movie-Made America

"Since World War II, cinema has challenged American intellectuals to define their relation to popular culture. In this incisive history, Greg Taylor traces many attitudes dominant today-the search for momentary pleasures in mass entertainment, the ironic celebration of movies' wilder side, the phenomena of camp and cult films-back to the work of Manny Farber, Parker Tyler, and a series of avant-garde filmmakers. He shows how critics of great ingenuity and panache managed to revolutionize tastes, convincing guardians of middlebrow culture that Hollywood movies came alive as art only when treated with a mixture of offhand respect, humor, and bravado. This is a witty, thoughtful account of a crucial period in intellectual tastemaking."--David Bordwell, Jacques Ledoux Professor of Film Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

See also: American cinema - film criticism - audience - cult - camp

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