Cinematic Intertextuality and the Aesthetics of Ambiguity from Antonioni to Aldridge

Gerrard Carter


In order to interpret the work of British photographer Miles Aldridge and gain insight into the semiotic ambiguity of his photographs, this paper relies on the capacity to decipher the photographs’ relationship to other arts such as Italian cinema and in particular, to the work of Italian film director Michelangelo Antonioni. From the perspective of this present study, the decisive role of semiotics in relation to photography is that it promotes an interactive process between artist and spectator. The methodology employed in this study to demonstrate how previous systems of language inspire a semiotic dialogue and produce multiple interpretations is a combination of Umberto Eco’s concept of open work and French narratological theories of hypertextuality. Through an examination of the Italian cinematic influence in the work of Miles Aldridge, this paper demonstrates how generating interpretations becomes an essential element of a photograph’s aesthetics.


aesthetics; ambiguity; intertextuality; open work; photography

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