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the photo but (if there wasn’t enough hair available) other people’s hair, or even horsehair, was used. As photography replaced hair jewellery as an object of remembrance, these special combinations only existed for a short period around 1850. Now, these items hold a notable semiotic significance. In the beginning of the 20th century, the American philosopher and logician Charles Peirce classified the three characteristics of a sign and the methods of denoting its object:

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» The SYMBOL denotes its object by a habit or rule for its interpreter. Therefore, it doesn’t have to be similar to the object. Just think of the

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little male and female figures on public toilets. They don’t actually have anything to do with a toilet, but everyone associates them with it. » The INDEX denotes its object by factual connection. Smoke is an index for fire, footprints in the sand are an index for the person that walked there. » The ICON denotes its object by a quality of its own; it actually looks like the object. Take, for example, the Virgin Mary as an icon or the crossed out cigarette on a prohibition sign. A piece of hair jewellery combined with a photograph now unites all those three characteristics in one piece:

Issue N° 4 sisterMAG  

The Fall/Autumn issue of sisterMAG

Issue N° 4 sisterMAG  

The Fall/Autumn issue of sisterMAG