Berger's Essay

Submitted By obloo01
Words: 925
Pages: 4

In “Ways of seeing”, art critic John Berger discusses the different ways of seeing for different periods of history. Every image reflects its own time. Only because of images we can learn our history from the past. In the Stone ages people did not know writing, but they could transmit the events of their lives through the drawing the pictures. From the scratch marks and pictures on the stone we can learn how they lived, what they ate, how they hunted, what difficulties they experienced. Development of history changes the methods of painting by which the images were depicted – from oil painting of Renaissance period to nowadays with new technologies. The new technologies allow us to do a lot now, but it also changed our perception on things that used to be revered and reverent. In his essay, Berger criticizes the emergence and impact of modern technology on the art of painting. Berge claims that with emergence of camera, photography, TV, the art painting is losing their uniqueness and value as art. But from another side the ability of reproduction made it more accessible for more people to see it. During the time of traditional oil painting, paintings were mostly prized, because it was the one way to capture the moment in time and possess it forever: “Images were first made to conjure up the appearance of something that was absent”. Gradually it became an evident that an image could outlast what it represented. Art is now able to be reproduced and many people can view it. It also has the ability to change the entire meaning of a painting by placing it with certain texts or other painting: “we perceive it in different way”. By Berger: “when the camera reproduces a painting, it destroys the uniqueness of its image and changes its meaning”. Nowadays we can see the different types of paintings from the comfort of home: internet, TV, books, magazines… It is not the same valuation between the original work and its reproduction. But most people can’t afford to visit the museums, to travel around the world and see the original art. So, appearance of camera, internet, give us more ability to see it. As the camera, the photography also impact and some way destroy the uniqueness of images. “Every image embodies a way of seeing”. The photographer’s way of seeing is reflected in his choice of subject. Prior to photography, images were an integral part of a building, and as a result this was a part of the images meaning. Even if the image could be moved, there was always only one image. By reproducing the image, the camera multiplies and breaks up its meaning. In photography, unlike painting, it is possible to make many absolutely identical copies. It can be shown on the television, on the wall, or on a T-shirt. The painters way of seeing is shown by the marks he makes on the canvas or paper, which is differ the photography from the original painting. But most people can’t imagine the living without photography. The birth of baby, the wedding, and other important events in our lives can be captured only with a camera. With help of internet we can share it with our friends, relatives, and other people. Development in technology did not mean the photography immediately replaced painting and drawing, but rather that it thinned out the number of available commissions. The new technologies, like camera, photography, and television are connected and influence our perception on many things. The relationship between art and mass media has