Saturday, 25 February 2012

'Ways of seeing' - John Berger (1972)

Ways of seeing in paintings
  • The meaning of a painting has now become transmittable and can be manipulated and transformed.
  • Paintings/images are modified when sound is accompanied to it
  • Words you notice consciously
  • Music is more subtle and can work with an image almost without noticing it - music and rhythm change the significance of the imagery.
  • Details of images can be cut to fit the music
  • Camera movements help to tell the story and selected details are presented to you.
  • In a film sequence, the details have to be selected and re-arranged into a narrative, which depends on unfolding time. In a painting, there is no unfolding time.
  • When images are re-produced, they become a form of information, which is being continually transmitted - and the meanings of the image are interchangeable and ambiguous
  • Images can used by anybody for their own use.

The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled

The way we see things is affected by what we know or believe

We only see what we look at. To look is an act of choice

We never look at just one thing; we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves

An image is a sight, which has been recreated or produced. It is an appearance, or a set pf appearances, which has been detached from the place and time

Every image embodies a way of seeing. Even a photograph – our perception or appreciation of an image depends also upon our own way of seeing.

When an image is presented as a work of art, the way people look at it is affected by a whole series of learnt assumptions concerning: Beauty, truth, genius, civilization, form status, and taste etc.

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