Preface: Art and Society Art is a signifying practice which is grounded in society and history. Its specificity is comprising of: elements, forms, media, techniques, styles, and more. - Signifiers (material data) Signifieds (concepts) These two constitute the formal aspect of the work. Its material aspects are signs that have a meaning—conveying potential (derived from human psychophysical experiences and cultural codes) which is realized in the relations of the work, since the signifiers are tied up with the signifieds. An approach like this finds a common ground for interpretations on arts to the world; human psychological experiences are universally shared, and separated nationals and localities have culture codes shared throughout. It is possible that a work of art may reveal contradictions that reflect underlying ideological tensions, or the surface of the work’s dominant discourse may reveal holes in a symptomatic reading. These holes are also named the “unconsciousness of the work”, these are where the contrary elements break through. The reader, in this case, does not absorb these contradictions into a structuralist or functionalist whole. As per Eagleton, “the task of the critic is to not gloss over contradictions but to foreground them” in order to show the work changed terrain of contention. The relation between the work and the reader (or viewer), one does not find a single unilateral thread of meaning but one finds a rich polyphonic text on different planes and voices. Meaning wasn’t used to be the essential kernel that discloses itself after one throws away the husk which is the form. The work is referred to its “horizon of meaning,” which takes into account the various and possible meanings that operate within the problematic of the work. The work of art is viewed in the dialogic situation of the work and its viewer. It is necessary to emphasize that the work of art is seen not as a closed hermetic text but as an open work in which the signs are referred back to their referents in the real world. Art also exists in a dialogic text is not purely self-referential—and we choose to differ from the theoreticians of the “infinite play of signifiers” and the postmodernist proponents of pure surface texture—one chooses to forestall the formalist closure of the work by resituating it as visual sign and text in the real world. The concern to bring out worldviews and ideologies of a work does not end there but proceeds to investigations how these ideas, values, narratives, discourses, worldviews have a bearing on our lives and interests, and our social context as a whole.