Monday, March 27, 2017

Ways of Seeing Reflection

In John Berger Ways of Seeing he discusses the importance of "seeing" and the different levels of it in our world and daily lives. I found this excerpt to be really difficult to read and to keep focused on but I found some interesting points that caught my eye and made an impression on my. His first point is "the way we see things is affected by what we know or believe". This idea is really interesting and I believe that it's true. People are going to look at a painting and see different things based on their knowledge of art and painting. A regular person might look at it and see just what it appears to be like a landscape or a portrait, but an artist who studies paintings might see the different brush strokes, the way its laid out, or the kind of paint the artist used. Berger discusses the idea that we don't just look at one thing, but that we are always looking at things in relation to ourselves. This idea was interesting because he goes on to talk about how a photographer chooses to take a picture a certain way to get the viewer to see what he wants them to see. This idea can be expanded because this is the way a lot of artists, writers, or directors create their art. They create something a certain way because they want you to see what they saying.  A musician's music video is an expression of what they see when they play their song.

Berger also makes an interesting point that images can "outlast what it represented". People can look at a picture from a long time ago and "see" what was seen a long time ago. Also artists might see something in their art that other people might never be able to see and will never truly understand what the artist is "seeing". This idea is demonstrated in the thousands of art pieces left behind by deceased artists, we will never really know what the artist is seeing or what they are trying to say because we all see different points, and have different backgrounds that makes us think differently. This John Berger wrote a very interesting excerpt that I found to be confusing at times but made me think about how "seeing" really affects the way we live. Although artists, photographers, musicians and writers try to have us see their vision, our interpretation of what we see is all going to be very different and unique.

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