Ways of Seeing by John BergerJohn Berger’s Classic Text on Art
John Bergers Ways of Seeing is one of the most stimulating and the most influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the (London) Sunday Times critic commented: This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings . . . he will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures. By now he has.
Berger has the ability to cut right through the mystification of the professional art critics . . . He is a liberator of images: and once we have allowed the paintings to work on us directly, we are in a much better position to make a meaningful evaluation —Peter Fuller, Arts Review
The influence of the series and the book . . . was enormous . . . It opened up for general attention to areas of cultural study that are now commonplace —Geoff Dyer in Ways of Telling
Winner of the 1972 Booker Prize for his novel, G., John Peter Berger (born November 5th, 1926) is an art critic, painter and author of many novels including A Painter of Our Time, From A to X and Bento’s Sketchbook.
John Berger "Ways of Seeing", Episode 1
The videos " question the assumptions usually made about the tradition of European paintings" 1 The first episode in the series draws on Walter Benjamin's The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, and the idea that the reproduction of art such as paintings separates the piece's modern context from the context of which the piece was created. Berger touches on the idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this makes the eye the center of the visible world. The invention of the camera changed perception of the world- it changed not only what we see but how we see it. He also talks a lot about how most original paintings have been recreated, copied, and distributed across the globe. This messes with the "value" of the painting. Berger also touches on the fact that paintings can be easily manipulated- a few reasons why is that there is no unfolding of time in paintings, just the one frame; a painting's interpretation can be changed if it is accompanied by music and rhythm; and the meaning of an image can be changed depending on what you view after or beside it. Because of the camera and the fact that any original piece of work can be photographed, copied, and placed virtually anywhere in the world, paintings have lost something.
A couple of years ago, I took a bike ride from Slough, heading east — right through London and out the other side to Basildon. I was looking for two important but hidden locations: a data centre belonging to the London Stock Exchange, and another belonging to the New York Stock Exchange.
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Ways of Seeing is a television series of minute films created chiefly by writer John Berger and producer Mike Dibb. The series was intended as a response to Kenneth Clark 's Civilisation series, which represents a more traditionalist view of the Western artistic and cultural canon, and the series and book criticize traditional Western cultural aesthetics by raising questions about hidden ideologies in visual images. The book has contributed to feminist readings of popular culture , through essays that focus particularly on how women are portrayed in advertisements and oil paintings. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ways of seeing. The Independent. Retrieved 14 July
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