John Berger: Ways Of Seeing

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

download word file, 7 pages 0.0

Downloaded 32 times

SEE English 110 John Berger is an art critic who sees art differently from anyone else in his field of work. In the essay "Ways of Seeing" Berger has started "a process of questioning" based on perception. Berger's beliefs can be rooted from his Marxists background, which is formed of the premise that everything is for everyone. This questioning conceptualized on the idea that our civilization alters the way we see, view, look at, understand, and interpret images that surround us. Images such as; paintings, photos and television. These differences in perception can be explained by the elements that shape our ethics and cultures. As a result Berger states, "Yet when an image is presented as a work of art, the way people look at it is affected by a whole series of learned assumptions about art. Assumptions concerning: Beauty, Truth, Genius, Civilization, Form, Status, Taste, etc"(Berger, Was Of Seeing page, 108).

In addition the these assumptions one can say that the frameworks of our society - education, class, reproduction, and value, have been and will continue to be variables that determine and affect the way we come to "perceive" images and art.

Today and throughout history, education has been an extremely important aspect of life. In most cases it has the power to mold how we live our lives. In addition, education has a direct connection to how we see images. This connection can be explained on the idea that our education gives us better incite of the background form where the art is coming from; its history, whom it was composed by, why it was composed and for whom was it to be viewed by. To back this up in the essay Berger brings in statistics, "The following table shows how closely an interest in art...