John Berger’s Way of Seeing Episode#1

Discussion Questions #2

Question 1: When Berger says that seeing is not natural, but shaped by habit and convention, he was talking about perspective.  Perspective comes from the viewpoint from an individual  not just seeing the object or image itself, but our mindset on the image or object we are looking at. Our viewpoints are influenced by our environment, upbringing, age, gender, etc. The reason I write, it is because our perspective comes from many forms of standards created by society’s opinion on what is a social norm. Which is significant to how we see a work of art differently from everyone else. “Perspective centers everything on the eye of the beholder” ~ John Berger

Question 2:   Berger explains that  the camera has changed our sense of perspective by allowing the viewer another chance to see something in different ways. The device has changed our engagement with works of art by allowing it to be manipulated and made available in any size for any purpose. Berger further divulges into what the experience of being in the presence of an authentic artwork at a museum is in the terms of stillness and silence. When he says this he means that this experience goes beyond just what people teach about art. By seeing an artwork in a museum you are able to see the actual artwork in its purest form rather than seeing it on a screen or book where the image is manipulated to fit on a piece of paper to carry around or to see in the context of our own life.

Question 3: When Berger describes reproductions of paintings becoming a form of information he is saying that they can be used to convey, or narrate an idea to its viewer. Berger then mentions that talking with reproductions can manipulate an image into a different perspective by what comes before being handed the reproduction. These purposes include selling something, promoting an idea, or educating other individuals.

1 thought on “John Berger’s Way of Seeing Episode#1

  1. Tereza Koniakovska - Bors

    Hi Jenell,
    I really like your answers. I think they are very logical and on the point. I like that you pointed out the fact that the actual experience from seeing things in stillness and silence is going beyond any knowledge.

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