n Image & Text : a Journal for Design - -practices in visual representation and textual discourse - a tapestry and a fugue : editorial

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1020-1491



The articles presented in this special edition of may be likened to a fugue of contrapuntal voices expressed in textual modes and threaded around Jacques Derrida's (2009 [1978]) theoretical maxim of "". The notion of "" arises from Derrida's essay, "" ("Restitutions of the truth in pointing") in which he explores the discursive theme of the "inside" and "outside" of a text. Derrida (2009:301) uses the metaphor of "" as it pertains to the registration hole made by the small iron blade used in printmaking to fix the page to be printed onto the tympan, and the opening and connecting (threading) function of the stitch present in shoemaking and glovemaking (Derrida cited in Payne 1993:228). The etymology of the term "fugue" can be traced to the Latin word "" ("to chase"), indicated in the fugue musical form of one voice "chasing" another (Amati-Camperi 2009). If one were to consider the fugue as a polyphonic vocal form of expression in which voices "chase one another" through contrapuntal disambiguation (Smith 1996), its equivalent might be the needlepoint (embroidered) tapestry, in which two-dimensional form is rendered through contrapuntal-type stitching and interweaving of coloured threads. Derived from the Latin "" (Smith 1996), meaning "point against point", the term "contrapuntal" would, in the case of the tapestry and fugue, refer to the interrelationship between the voices or stitches. While each individual voice or stitch is independent of the others, when combined, they become interdependent, reading with and against one another to form a polyphonic synthesis. Extending the similes of the fugue and tapestry to this collection of articles, this themed edition could be seen as representing a range of autonomous, yet (inter)textual voices (thoughts) that "pierce", "puncture", and "penetrate" the concept of "", and are "stitched together", "threaded through", "cast onto", "spun around", "interlaced with", and "woven into" as a central thematic.

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