Image-Language Dialectics in Greek Caricatures

Start Date: 01/03/2009
End Date: 28/02/2010
Funding: Κοινωφελές Ίδρυμα "Ιωάννη Σ. Λάτση"
Project Leader: Pastra Katerina

Through which mechanisms does humor and satire emerge in caricatures? Which role does sketch-language interaction play in formulating messages in caricatures? This study aims at analyzing – for the first time internationally- the semantic interplay between images and natural language in the genre of caricatures. It focuses on representative creations of Greek Caricaturists with the objective of exploring the semantic relations between sketch and language and the inferences one makes for comprehending the communicated message.

In using a new, descriptive framework of image-language interaction relations in multimedia documents (COSMOROE, Pastra 2008) and computational tools of analysis, the idiosyncratic nature of caricatures is explored and analysed. The results of this study will be available at http://www.cosmoroe.eu/caricatures in the form of an interactive electronic-book that analyses how messages emerge in caricatures through the image-language dialectic. Furthermore, search and retrieval of example analyses of caricatures will be available through the use of key word/phrases denoting the content of the caricatures and/or through the selection of a specific semantic relation for which one will be interested in retrieving examples.

The study focuses on Greek caricatures, exploring – for the first time – the basic mechanism of image-language integration through which the “magic” of caricature messages emerges, rather than the historical evolution of the genre. A number of conclusions on strategies for combining language and sketch will be drawn per caricaturist, topic and in comparison to other multimedia genres.