Monday, February 6, 2017

A Review on Ways of Seeing- John Berger

One of the most promote topics to me, in this article, is the idea that a photographer or painter picked a specific view out of the thousands of possibilities. Often, I think about how my view can differ from someone else due to my life experiences. However, I don't necessarily think about why someone might take a picture at a certain angle as opposed to another.

Similarly, the way I interpret a photo or a painting may be completely different from the way someone else may interpret it. For example, looking at a sculpture, everyone who views it may see it from a different angle depending on where they are standing or their height, but it is still the same sculpture which can be see many different ways. Everyone looks at the world differently so why shouldn't there be thousands of different possibilities for a single photograph?

Berger mentions Regents and Regentesses by Fran Hals. Berger compares the fact that although this is someones perception of an event, we accept the painting as it is. We have to look back on what the time was like and think about the painting in those terms. It is not only about the perception of the viewer, but the perception of the creator of the paining and what they had envisioned.

The invention of the camera, and photography drastically changed the way people viewed paintings. Paintings were seen as very unique, almost 'one in a million,' but with the invention of the camera and the printing press, they were a dime a dozen. Pictures were not as unique as they once were. There was now to be many different ways to think about a single picture. Although paintings weren't as unique as they were once perceived as, they could now be seen by a greater multitude of people, who all have their own different perceptions to bring to each painting or picture.

Art is all about perspective.  As Berger states, "Perception makes the single eye the centre of the visible world." What you perceive is your reality, no matter how far it could be from the true intentions of an artist. Thus, creating the vast variety of ideas for the purpose of a piece of art.