Hi Greg, I agree – there is usually nothing intrinsically or necessarily wrong with a clichéd image.
When first seen it was (obviously) not the overfamiliar thing is has since become.
A good example of “it ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it!” is Yue Minjun’s reworking of various western cliché images – for example the well-known pose (cliché) of Marilyn Monroe in the Seven Year Itch, in which Yue Minjun uses a version of his own face and replaces the figure with his own, but still wearing Monroe’s clothes. The result is an example of ‘Cynical Realism.’
One of the studio assessment descriptors refers to a body of work that “has been reviewed, modified and refined as it has progressed, resulting in an accomplished resolution of ideas and medium” – which is one way of interpreting ‘the way that you do it’.
In terms of Investigation, the Marilyn poster from the Seven Year Itch – or any of the Terminator posters – could (broadly) be seen as “art from different cultures and times” and therefore worthy of consideration for function and significance, and developing a series of creative studies could also demonstrate “effective skills, techniques and processes when making…images”
Links to Yue Minjun & Cynical Realism
IWB page relating to ‘the Afghan girl’ – discussed in a previous post.