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Sydney Harbour Bridge - Essay Example

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Sydney Harbour Bridge

In other words, Carl Hooper asserts that there should be a 'depoliticisation' of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and he makes use of the theories of Roland Barthes to explain this depoliticisation, as well as the aura and allure of the Bridge. In the explanation of the bitter conflicts between sectional interests as well as the tensions between public and private, Hooper makes use of the theories of Roland Barthes and the method has been greatly effective. "The explanation of this event is found nor in history nor politics, but in the function of mythology. The celebratory phenomenon enveloping the harbour bridge is similar to that analysed by Roland Barthes. In this explanation the harbour bridge constructed out of concrete, granite and steel acts as a mythic signifier, situated in a particular environment and history. This is its 'sensuous' dimension."2 Therefore, Carl Hooper explains the concept of the 'depoliticisation' of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as the aura and allure of the Bridge by the use of the theories of Roland Barthes.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge, according t...
Thus, Hooper suggests the significance of the mythology concerning the Sydney Harbour Bridge which depoliticises the bridge through the generation of images that conceal or deform the material, historical and political dimensions of the real Sydney Harbour Bridge. Through these images one may imagine that the bridge is something eternal and that it belongs to the natural order of things. Such perceptions make the bridge as something beyond question and beyond politics. Two of the most important vehicles for the bridge mythology are provided by the souvenir histories and the visual arts and Hooper is engaged in a critical reading of the mythology by examining some sample vehicles and he recovers the Sydney Harbour Bridge as a material, historical and political entity. In its planning, construction and continued maintenance, the Sydney Harbour Bridge has been identified as a public work, though the idea of public is limited here. The bridge is also identified as a vampire and as the city as such because it represents the city's interests in relation to other cities. As the symbolic and aesthetic considerations were involved in the design of the characteristic shape of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it has never been understood in purely utilitarian terms. There were several dangers and issues involved in the construction of the bridge and the estimates of its cost impressed the popular imagination with the specialness and uniqueness. The extraordinary benefits which would flow from the bridge were stressed by the supporters of the task. There were several other factors which contributed to the mythology concerning the bridge. "The spectacle of its construction in the midst of the daily life of the city ...Show more


The Sydney Harbour Bridge has long been the topic of discussion and according to Carl Hooper it is no ordinary bridge, but a structure invested with the politics of sectional interests and the suppression of 'lesser' interests. That is to say, there has been an important tension within its status as a public work and this has promoted a mythology which covers the politics of conflict…
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Sydney Harbour Bridge essay example
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