Types Of Texts Of Art Discourse In The Light Of Interdiscourse Theory


The article is devoted to the analyses of the interaction of markers of different kinds of discourse, including the semiotic discourse, in the press releases and in art exhibition posters in Germany and Russia. High relevance of this research is determined by the focus of effective management on such modern cultural projects as exhibitions, lecture courses and master classes. The present paper studies marketing peculiarity of an art product, postulates its immaterial nature and emphasizes such dominant features of an art product as its conceptual nature and the ability to produce impression on a recipient. Lexical and semantical analysis of press release texts proves that language means and discoursive strategies of the sphere of art can be found in advertising discourse due to their metaphorical nature, and orientation on conveying impressions, inclusiveness of deixis and conceptual neologisms. Thus, an inter discoursivity of art press release is proved. The analysis postulates the polycode nature of an art poster. The name of an art event on a poster is in verbal and visual focus. It implies two strategies: PR impact regarded as means of creation of an artist’s image/ reputation, based on the usage of myths, stereotypes and cultural names and the strategy of advertising an exhibition as an event, which appeals to emotional background and influences the behavior of target audience by means of images, associations and uniqueness.

Keywords: Art discourseinter-discoursepolycode textpress releaseposteradvertising


Since ancient times art has been balancing between the world of entity searching for sense and the world of artifacts for sale. Nowadays successful management is interested in cultural projects such as art exhibitions, master-classes and lecture courses.

Art management includes target market positioning, successful communication and effective marketing. Aspiration for financial success or at least efficiency of a project imply concerted actions in the sphere of public relations, marketing and advertising, which attract not only audiences’ but also patron of arts’ attention to the project without influencing the artist’s freedom and independence of his worldview (Knieß, 2012).

Language interacts with the fine arts in a variety of many forms, from phrases inside the picture to exhibition booklet performances (Hausendorf, Müller, Felder & Gardt, 2015). Such verbal-intensive types of institutional discourse as PR-communication and advertisement determine the linguists’ attention to the text of art events.

Problem Statement

Cultural product includes the product itself, support service and its art value. Cultural product consists of a poster, direction signs, an excursion and a souvenir shop and can be considered as one product syncretically offered to a consumer. Marketing peculiarity of the product is determined by its immaterial nature: impressions and feelings estimating the value of an artwork are the good which can’t be preliminary tested or checked.

In addition, the recipient takes part in creating the artifact due to interpretation of an artwork and dialoguness. From this point of view an immanent feature of art is its being filled with associations and concepts, while for advertising material objects associations should be created and there’s a threat that they fail to hit the associative target (Mandel, 2009).

Unlike positioning of material objects, advertising of art seldom aims at creating a brand and brand loyalty. The main purpose is to promote a unique artifact, but not to sell it. These circumstances determine the RP and advertising strategy, which is implemented through the verbal text.

It should be taken into consideration that on the one hand (categorical, clear-cut) meaning verbalization can destroy author’s concept intangibility and put an end to an open dialogue between the author and the recipient. On the other hand, a word interacts with an iconic component of art, and a press release, a banner, an exhibition title or a poster imply a high degree of creolization. Besides, conceptual meaning of an artwork influences both advertising and PR materials, which acquire the features of an art history text.

Research Questions

A specific feature of an art event advertisement from the point of view of marketing is determined by its immaterial, spiritual nature. This should be taken into consideration when carrying out a linguistic research. Research questions of the linguistic analysis are determined by the choice of objects of study, namely two genres of PR discourse, devoted to art events: news release and an art-advertising poster.

On this stage of research we study 18 art exhibition press releases and 40 art event posters both in the Russian and German languages and determine their universal features.

Research questions of news release:

To define characteristic features of a genre of news release, to analyze how text of press release is adapted to the sphere of art on the lexical and conceptual levels, to identify the peculiarities of implementation of general and specific strategies of PR and art discourse.

Research questions of an art event poster:

To classify a genre of an art poster (a poster of an art exhibition, lecture courses or a master class), to identify the main functions of an art event naming as a verbal and visual focus in terms of implementation of PR and advertising strategies, to determine the effectiveness of synsemantic relations between visual and verbal components of a poster, to analyze the text of a poster on lexico-semantic and syntactical levels.

Purpose of the Study

In the course of study the following methodological and general theoretical aims are achieved: the explanatory and evidential potential of discourse analysis which serves the methodological basis of research is identified; the phenomena of «multimodality» and «interdiscoursivity» are studied, which gives a better idea of discoursive genres of the heterogeneous nature.

Research Methods

The main methods of research are: purposive sampling method, discourse-analysis, semantic analysis and functional analysis of the text.


In the sphere of public relations PR serves to establish trust between participants of communication and to create public opinion. Press release is one of the main genres of PR-text. It is textual news about a current or an upcoming event, designed for the mass media, which aims at creating an informational image of a company and spreading commercial.

Press release provides us with information and creates the attitude. In art exhibition press releases we come across the features of an art discourse, for example:

Основная направленность искусства Е. Горчаковой – исследование субъективности внутри бытия.  В проекте "ГЛОБАЛЬНЫЙ СКАЙЛАЙН" художница развивает тему "другости",  заявленную в выставке "Я – Другой. Операция "Признание"", … Как выглядит этот мир по отношению к человеку, пропущенный через его восприятие, то есть изнутри? Евгения Горчакова обратилась к своему архиву фотографий, сложившемуся за десятилетия в поездках по миру. В них она запечатлела места,  уже своей функцией отрывающие горожанина от обыденности, как например, музеи, церкви, кладбища или перспективы, завораживающие нас своей далью или бесчисленные отражения в окнах домов, витринах магазинов. Каждая тема слагается в экспозиции в виде небоскреба, а все фотографии вместе -- в глобальный скайлайн (горизонт), дающий не объективную, а сугубо личную картину метрополий мира.Чтобы жить своей жизнью, а не жизнью других, необходим этот взгляд в себя, момент молчания и бессловесного диалога с собой, о котором напоминают живописные работы  художницы, поверхность которых вибрирует штрихами - мгновениями жизни автора. В этом медитативном состоянии  мы переживаем контакт с Бытием, с течением времени (Пресс-релиз галереи OkNо, 2016).(E.Gorchakova’sartfocusesonsubjectivityofexistence. In the project «GLOBAL SKYLINE» the artist evolves the theme of “differentness”, declared in the exhibition “I am different”. Operation “Admission”, … What does the world look like as seen from human’s perspective, i.e. from the inside? EvgeniyaGorchakova referred to her archive photos which had been taken during her journeys around the world. She captured the places, which help people to distract from their routine, such as museums, churches, cemeteries or perspectives, we are captivated by their expanse or endless reflections in windows of houses and shop windows. Each theme forms an exposition in the shape of skyscraper, photos form a global skyline (horizon), a subjective world map of metropolises. To live your own life, not the life of others you need to take a moment to gaze inside yourself and to have a silent dialogue with yourself. The vivid works of the artist with their surface vibrating with details – the moments of the artist’s life remind us about it. In this meditative state we experience the contact with the Entity and the time stream (Press-release of the Gallery OkNo, 2016). (weinterpretitourownways U.Z.)

Die bedeutende Rolle von Materialien wird durch die überraschende und radikale Materialwahl sowie die neuen von den Künstlern angewandten Techniken zum Ausdruck gebracht. Gleichzeitig können viele Werke als eine Art spielerische Untersuchungen der Beziehung von Menschen zu Objekten und Dingen und der (symbolischen) Bedeutung, die sie damit verknüpfen, betrachtet werden. Die kommt, von Künstler zu Künstler, auf ganz unterschiedliche Weise zum Ausdruck. (Press-release of the exhibition Material World. Kunst, Design und Mode, Groning Museum 2011). (An important role of the materials is expressed by their unexpected and radical choice and by new techniques the authors use. Many art works can be regarded as a playful research on people’s attitude to objects, things and symbolic meaning connected with them. Every artist expresses it his way. ( we interpret it our own ways U.Z.)

A text rich in metaphors, oriented on conveying impression, inclusiveness of deixis, and conceptual neologisms rather anticipates the impression that an exhibition will produce and creates an extended metaphor of an art conception than informs or explicitly creates a positive evaluation of a brand.

According to such approach genre of press release in the sphere of art management can be studied as a genre of the interdiscoursive nature. In this case interdiscoursivity means filling the text with knowledge in different spheres and principles of thinking (Jerusalimskaya, 2016).

Another genre appeared the XIXth century without which we can’t imagine art discourse is a poster. A poster is a bright, long-sized image with a short text on it, created for agitation, advertisement, information or educational purposes. There are different types of posters: political, advertising, circus etc. According to T.P. Romanova an art poster can be considered as a type of verbal and visual advertisement (Romanova, 2016).

Since typological characteristics of a poster as a genre of different discourse types are not the main issue of our research only several characteristic features admitted by the majority of researchers are worthwhile mentioning:

A poster is a genre of pop art, «a poster originates from a painting» (Romanova, 2016); this is proved by the fact that during the peak period of a poster art many famous artists, such as J. Cheret, A.Mucha, A. Toulouse-Latrec, V.Vasnetsov and others worked in this genre. A poster is based on an art image and composition used for achieving pragmatic aims:

The visual component of a poster is created by an image, script, colour and composition;

In the first place stands the iconic component of the poster, though according to advertising rules a slogan should be created first. The function of a verbal part is to inform and it is in synsemantic connection with an iconic part. Both slogan and the visual image contribute to the influential power of a poster;

Images are filled with familiar meanings, symbols and slogans. Since a poster belongs to the advertising genre and it is perceived «while running», the modern poster art can be called street art for the people who are in a rush. (Vorontsova, 2013; Sirotinina & Buyanov2017; Shaina, 2016).

A poster can be classified as a polycode text, based on connection of semantically heterogeneous components: verbal text in written or oral forms, image and other signs (Sonin, 2005). Art posters can be considered as genres of PR discourse (such as museum or theatre posters) and advertising discourse (posters of art events: exhibitions, performances etc). The object of the present research is German and Russian posters of art exhibitions and master-classes. In the course of our study we compared 40 posters in the Russian and German languages and came to the conclusion that there are some common, universal mechanisms of creating a poster as a creolized text. Thus, a poster contains information about art event: what kind of event it is (an exhibition, opening, Ausstellung), date and place, organizer, sponsors. In some cases there are no names of artists on posters. This creates an informative part of a poster as of an advertising announcement. The title of an art event is the most universal component, distinguishing the art event among other current events.

The general analysis of exhibition titles makes it possible to suggest that there are two relevant strategies for discoursive practice of creating titles:

PR impact regarded as means of creation of an artist’s image/ reputation. The usage of myths, stereotypes and cultural names first and for most influences the audience’s attitude to the exhibition and artists.

The strategy of advertising an exhibition as an event, which appeals to emotional background and influences the target audience’s behavior and decision to visit an exhibition by means of images, associations and originality. An exhibition title on the poster is in the focus of creolization: in contrast to other parts of a text, the title is capitalized and written in bold. Quiet often information is repeated in different blocks of the text of a poster, which determines text redundancy. The duplication accentuates the information about event: its title, date and the place where it is to be held, it is also one of the ways to influence perception. As far as the language means is concerned, nominative structures prevail in the texts of posters: nominative style and prepositional constructions (mit, ausdem, von, im, am, um) are used, there are no predicate forms, verbs or adjectives (except exhibition title). Synsemantic relations of verbal or iconic parts of a poster are worthwhile mentioning. It can be fulfilled on the conceptual/ figurative level, for example, on the Kunst und Berührung (Art and touch) exhibition poster, a hand, touching a body is depicted.

There can be correlation on the level of colour composition and the choice of geometrical shape (regular or irregular) is also important for it is used to structure the text of a poster.


The discoursive approach to the analysis of heterogeneous texts helps to identify the mechanisms of mutual integration of different types of discourse: the strategies of art discourse (interpretation, conveying of impression, dialogue between an artist and a recipient) determine partial levelling of typical features of PR discourse texts. Positioning of an artist/style is enhanced by means of conceptual metaphors, expressed by stylistic devices used both in a press release and an exhibition title. In a polycode text of a poster the title of an art event is in the focus of creolization. From the viewpoint of text structure and expressive means a title like an advertising slogan serves the functions of positioning and attraction.


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30 April 2018

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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, translation, interpretation

Cite this article as:

Zharkova, U. (2018). Types Of Texts Of Art Discourse In The Light Of Interdiscourse Theory. In I. V. Denisova (Ed.), Word, Utterance, Text: Cognitive, Pragmatic and Cultural Aspects, vol 39. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 627-632). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.04.02.90