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CAT 2020 Reading Comprehension Solution 07


Direction for Reading Comprehension: The pass ages given here are followed by some questions that have four answer choices; read the passage carefully and pick the option whose answer best aligns with the passage

The claims advanced here may be condensed into two assertions: [first, that visual] culture is what images, acts of seeing, and attendant intellectual, emotional, and perceptual sensibilities do to build, maintain, or transform the worlds in which people live. [And second, that the] study of visual culture is the analysis and interpretation of images and the ways of seeing (or gazes) that configure the agents, practices, conceptualities, and institutions that put images to work. . . .

Accordingly, the study of visual culture should be characterized by several concerns. First, scholars of visual culture need to examine any and all imagery – high and low, art and non art.. . . They must not restrict themselves to objects of a particular beauty or aesthetic value. Indeed, any kind of imagery may be found to offer up evidence of the visual construction of reality. . . .

Second, the study of visual culture must scrutinize visual practice as much as images themselves, asking what images do when they are put to use. If scholars engaged in this enterprise inquire what makes an image beautiful or why this image or that constitutes a masterpiece or a work of genius, they should do so with the purpose of investigating an artist’s or a work’s contribution to the experience of beauty, taste, value, or genius. No amount of social analysis can account fully for the existence of Michelangelo or Leonardo. They were unique creators of images that changed the way their contemporaries thought and felt and have continued to shape the history of art, artists, museums, feeling, and aesthetic value. But study of the critical, artistic, and popular reception of works by such artists as Michelangelo and Leonardo can shed important light on the meaning of these artists and their works for many different people. And the history of meaning-making has a great deal to do with how scholars as well as lay audiences today understand these artists and their achievements.

Third, scholars studying visual culture might properly focus their interpretative work on lifeworlds by examining images, practices, visual technologies, taste, and artistic style as constitutive of social relations. The task is to understand how artifacts contribute to the construction of a world. . . . Important methodological implications follow: ethnography and reception studies become productive forms of gathering information, since these move beyond the image as a closed and fixed meaning-event. . . .

Fourth, scholars may learn a great deal when they scrutinize the constituents of vision, that is, the structures of perception as a physiological process as well as the epistemological frameworks informing a system of visual representation. Vision is a socially and a biologically constructed operation, depending on the design of the human body and how it engages the interpretive devices developed by a culture in order to see intelligibly. . . . Seeing . . . operates on the foundation of covenants with images that establish the conditions for meaningful visual experience.

Finally, the scholar of visual culture seeks to regard images as evidence for explanation, not as epiphenomena.

Question: 1

“No amount of social analysis can account fully for the existence of Michelangelo or Leonardo.” In light of the passage, which one of the following interpretations of this sentence is the most accurate?

  1. Socially existing beings cannot be analysed, unlike the art of Michelangelo or Leonardo which can.
  2. Michelangelo or Leonardo cannot be subjected to social analysis because of their genius.
  3. No analyses exist of Michelangelo’s or Leonardo’s social accounts.
  4. Social analytical accounts of people like Michelangelo or Leonardo cannot explain their genius.
Option: 4

This is so simple a question that one will not feel like marking the right choice just because it is too straightforward. The author in the third paragraph says that the study of visual culture is very important to understand the agents, practices and institutions that put images to work. Then he further goes to say that “no amount of social analysis (visual culture) can account fully for the existence of Michelangelo or Leonardo. They were unique creators. Choice 4 is very close to this statement. It is so easy that one is highly likely to miss out on this. Choice 2 is close but a little absurd. It says that because they are genius they cannot be subjected to social analysis. The author says that we may have social analysis of these artists but no matter how much we analyse; the analysis may not be enough.

Question: 2

“Seeing . . . operates on the foundation of covenants with images that establish the conditions for meaningful visual experience.” In light of the passage, which one of the following statements best conveys the meaning of this sentence?

  1. Sight as a meaningful visual experience is possible when there is a foundational condition established in images of covenants.
  2. Images are meaningful visual experiences when they have a foundation of covenants seeing them.
  3. Sight becomes a meaningful visual experience because of covenants of meaningfulness that we establish with the images we see.
  4. The way we experience sight is through images operated on by meaningful covenants.
Option: 3

This question asks us to interpret a phrase given in the passage. For meaningful visual experience, we need the conditions, which operate on the foundation of covenants. 3 precisely captures that meaning. In fact, the question asks us to pick the option that is similar in content to the one given in the question. 1 could have been close but it distorts the idea by saying “when there is foundational condition established in images”. It suggests that the foundation is established in images. Only 3 correctly rephrases the whole idea given in the question

Question: 3

Which set of keywords below most closely captures the arguments of the passage?

  1. Scholars, Social Analysis, Michelangelo and Leonardo, Interpretive Devices.
  2. Visual Construction of Reality, Work of Genius, Ethnography, Epiphenomena.
  3. Imagery, Visual Practices, Lifeworlds, Structures of Perception.
  4. Visual Culture, Aesthetic Value, Lay Audience, Visual Experience.
Option: 3

This was an easy question. Two keywords are very important, one is visual images or imagery, and the other is visual culture or practices. Both these are important as per the first paragraph of the passage and only in choice 3 can we find these two keywords. Thus 3 is the best choice. 4 misses on imagery or visual images. 2 misses on the visual culture. 1 misses both visual culture and images.

Question: 4

All of the following statements may be considered valid inferences from the passage, EXCEPT:

  1. studying visual culture requires institutional structures without which the structures of perception cannot be analysed.
  2. understanding the structures of perception is an important part of understanding how visual cultures work.
  3. artifacts are meaningful precisely because they help to construct the meanings of the world for us.
  4. visual culture is not just about how we see, but also about how our visual practices can impact and change the world.
Option: 1

We have to mark the choice that is not a valid inference. 2 can be inferred from last paragraph. 4 can be inferred from the first paragraph, and also the paragraph that discusses Michelangelo and Leonardo. In the third last paragraph the author says “how artifacts contribute to the construction of a world...”.  Thus 3 also can be inferred. 1 cannot be inferred because structures of perception have been discussed as a physiological process, not as an institutional structure. Thus 1 is farfetched and the right choice as it cannot be inferred.

Question: 5

Which one of the following best describes the word “epiphenomena” in the last sentence of the passage?

  1. Phenomena amenable to analysis.
  2. Visual phenomena of epic proportions.
  3. Phenomena supplemental to the evidence.
  4. Overarching collections of images.
Option: 3

To mark the correct answer, we must understand the meaning of epiphenomenon, which means a secondary effect or a by-product. 3 is the right choice because supplemental means “provided in addition to”. Thus by-product=supplemental.

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