discussion #2

  1.  One of the first points John Berger makes is that the act of seeing something is not as objective as we might at first think. Instead, he argues that what we see is conditioned by habits and conventions. What does Berger mean when he says that the process of seeing is not “natural,” that it is shaped by habits and conventions? What kinds of habits and conventions shape the ways we see and how do they do this?

To argue what we see is not objective at first, Berger has used several painting. He has demonstrated well known painting by Goya. Often we see things in context of what the narrator say. What we know or believe affects the way we see things. Also even we start with seeing and recognition , our past experience and knowledge changes the way we see things. He also mentions that the meaning of a painting shown on films can be changed even more radically. He has presented one painting by Brueghel ”The Road to Calvary” in which we see mourners of Christ. All we can see that is  grief, torture and despair. But as the camera zoomed in for more details, it looks more like a devotional  pictures. That means external factors like environment, the presentation, the technology  belief and religion interprets what we see is different from what we understand.

  1. How does Berger describe the term “perspective”? How does the concept of artistic perspective make “the eye the center of the visible world” and why is this significant when we think about what artworks like paintings mean for viewers?

Berger describes the term “perspective” as where and when we see something will affect what we see. The perspective of children and adults looking at painting are different. Berger mentions how people perspective is changing because of camera. The camera can reproduce images in any size, anywhere for different purposes. The painting on our wall or in religious place is influenced by the context of our life and the other object placed around. Stillness and silence of the painting help us to feel the uniqueness without being diverted by foreign factors.

  1. According to Berger, how has the camera changed our sense of perception? How has this device brought paintings and other images into the context of our lives? How does this differ from attitudes toward art that existed before the camera was invented?

As Berger said Botticelli’s Venus and Mars used to be unique. It was possible to see only in its original hanging place. As he said paintings which are still can only be in one place at one time The original is silent .The painters emotion and creation can be seen establishing relationship between painting and viewer .But camera can reproduce it in any size and anywhere for different purposes. Camera has changed the way how we see the things and what we see. It has changed how we see the old paintings that are unique .The same paintings can be seen in different places for different purposes at same time .Now the reproduced painting is seen in context of observers eye. It is affected by the environment and people around there. The reproduced painting lacks its uniqueness.

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