Post with 3 notes
[A]esthetic expression aims to communicate notions, subtleties, complexities which have not yet been formulated, and therefore, as soon as an aesthetic code comes to be generally perceived as a code (as a way of expressing notions which have already been articulated) then works of art tend to move beyond this code. They question, parody, and generally undermine the code while exploring its possible mutations and extensions. One might even say that much of the interest of works of art lies in the ways in which they explore and modify the codes which they seem to be using; and this makes semiological investigation of these systems both highly relevant and extremely difficult.
Jonathan Culler, Saussure (Fontana Modern Masters, 1976)