The origin of the reason for seeing some art pieces, that we can see in galleries nowadays, were related to the habits and conventions of back then society. I liked the example Berger used, concerning the art pieces as an integral part of an architectural structure. In particular, the renaissance church and its icon. The atmosphere and surroundings were closely corresponding with the artwork. Thereby the viewer could perceive the overlap of perception in addition. Nowadays, people are rather appreciating the beauty, craft, or the enormous historic and preservational value of the art. I perceived the video as the motivation that we should think about the meaning of things in general. To learn to analyze and be able to recognize the real meaning of everything around us to avoid preoccupation and bias.
Before the invention of the camera, we had to travel to see a certain art piece to a specific place. The camera switched this necessity and so today, we can see any art piece at any time and any place in the world. We can reproduce any paintings and bring them to society thru screens or magazines. But to see the paintings on a monitor or in a book is influenced by the context of our lives and the other objects placed around. Seeing the artwork in stillness and silence can help us to feel the present moment and appreciate the artwork. It helps us to feel the importance and meaning of art by a minimally interrupted sense of personal perception.
The uniqueness of paintings in the context of space and meaning were relegated to secondary status. Paintings became transmittable and gained rather informational and financial importance. If I would paraphrase idea: “talking with reproduction”, I would say that reproduction of art can be adjusted to fit the desired context without any additional words needed. Context is always crucial in a sense of meaning. The meaning of the paintings can be easily manipulated and that is why we have to be aware of potential danger to not get manipulated as well.
I believe that the paintings that we see in concrete museum are not their original place. These artworks were being brought into a building for conservation and for public view. These buildings became their second home of a sort. The stillness and silence that we experience in museum are extraordinary compared to ones we see on screens and magazines. But what is more remarkable and magnificent are the murals and paintings of renaissance churches like the one shown in the episode 1 of Ways of Seeing. It is my experience that visit to St. Paul’s cathedral in London was no comparison to museum. The feel and awe that you experience comes naturally without its meaning understood. Perhaps it’s because those paintings are the integral part and memories of this church like Berger said.
I agree. It is always better to sense the entire place. Experience and memory are then much stronger. I am from Prague in the Czech Republic, which is one of the most historic cities in the world. Some places over there are still pretty strong evidence of how it was it back then and their atmosphere is so strong that you can get goosebumps. 🙂