Discussion #2

1.¬† John Berger mentions that what we see is conditioned by habits and conventions in the beginning of the video. When people appreciate a painting in the gallery, different people will have different views at the same painting. There is an old saying goes “There are a thousand¬† Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes” said by Shakespeare. This well-known saying indicates us that the same artwork might be totally different in different viewers’ eyes. Habits, conventions, cultural backgrounds, experience, personalities, even your mood will change the way you appreciate the artwork. Take “Mona Lisa” as an typical example, what children will think is that she is a beautiful women with curly hair. For adults, most of them will consider the meaning of her mysterious smile. In the eyes of those in bad mood, they might think that Mona Lisa diguises her sadness with fake smile. So it is significant for viewers to appreciate the artwork in different ways.

2. Thanks to the invention of camera which makes those valuable and meaningful artwork accessible to almost everyone. With the help of this useful device, we can see so many antique artwork in our daily life, especially for those people who have no chance to go to the museum in order to appreciate the artwork closely. Although we take lots of advantages of camera, this little device has its own defects. Because of the silence and stillness of the artwork, we should make our eyeballs move. The common way we appreciate them at first is from the whole then is the details. But the camera could control our eyes. If you see a painting on a screen, you must follow the shot of camera. You can’t see the part of that painting out of the camera. And the arrangement of the camera shooting will change the view you look at it into the way the video producer want you to look at it. Those silent and still artwork becomes the story the video producers tell us rather than the original meanings what the authors intended to convey.

3. The artwork can only be in one place at a time, so it’s impossible for all the people to appreciate it personally. The most convenient and easiest way for us is to look at the reproductions. As I mentioned before, the reproductions like videos are a kind of recreation of the original artwork which contain the strong emotions of the authors as well as reproducers. The authors created these excellent artwork to show their own thoughts, and the reproducers combine their own ideas with the original meanings. So when we appreciate an reproduction of an artwork, we should consider both of their notions to get deeper understanding of that artwork.

4 thoughts on “Discussion #2

  1. Scott Levine

    I agree with your point in question 2 about how the camera changes our perception based on the camera point of view, but I think Berger is trying to go a little deeper. He is saying that an image can now be removed from its silent and still environment and brought anywhere. He explains how in a church an image can be worshipped, but once reprinted that image loses its religiosity. He also explains how an image in architecture can be a part of the buildings visual history, but once that same image is removed so is its meaning to that building.

  2. Sumitra Budhathoki Dhungel

    I agree with the logic of reproduction of painting that how it become a form of information. The most convenient and easiest way for us is to look at the reproductions. reproductions recreation of the original artwork which contain the strong emotions of the authors as well as reproducers. It shows a positive aspect of this ambiguity.

  3. Chang Liu

    It’s an interesting point you stated in question #3 that the authors can recreate an excellent artwork to show their own thoughts.I agree with you because many artworks can be presented in different forms.And it can also enrich our diversity of art.

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