This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Art As Manipulation In Berger's "Ways Of Seeing"

1155 words - 5 pages

Art as manipulation in Berger's "Ways of Seeing""To see only what is there is to be as blind as the night."Annalyn Joie Tran"Ways of Seeing" closely analyses the way we think about art. Indeed, perspectives on aesthetic production have a history, as John Berger states in the following phrases: "Today we see the art of the past as nobody saw it before. We actually perceive it in a different way." "Seeing comes before words," that is to say, the world is perceived in different ways, based on the preverbal, unreal experience. What one sees is what he believes he sees. People add meaning to images based on their previous experience.Berger's essay, "Ways of Seeing" offers a view of our culture and emphasizes in particular the way that, nowadays, culture reproduces and makes use of images of the past. Placed in museums, on bulletin boards, on T-shirts and in advertisements, the images tell a story of us, seen from a historic perspective. Berger says, " The past is never there waiting to be discovered, to be recognized for exactly what it is. History always constitutes the relation between a present and its past." Berger also claims: "The entire art of the past has now become a political issue" and that were people to understand history in art "the new language of images" would confer them "a new kind of power." He goes further and challenges us to act responsibly and to take awareness of the connections that underlie within the concept of museum. He describes the art museum as an instrument of the state, being its function to manipulate our view over the past. By means of the propaganda we are experiencing nowadays, museums have acquired besides the cultural, educational and aesthetic function, political and social functions. This is a Marxist idea that Berger incorporates in the following thoughts: "If we saw the art of the past, we would situate ourselves in history. When we are prevented from seeing it, we are being deprived of the history which belongs to us." Being known that who controls the past controls the present, the museum may be accused of providing a subtle manipulation.People know the past only from what has been told, showed or depicted to them, but nothing more. That is to say, people take awareness of history through a subjective point of view. Because of the manipulation that Berger discusses in the second paragraph of his essay, the viewer is faced with the so-called "mystification," i.e., "the process of explaining away what might otherwise be evident." By means of mystification (a collective delusion) people distort history. They grant people power and authority. Berger dismisses the traditional approach of art history as mystification. Concepts of aesthetics - and in particular those of composition - he argues, have inserted themselves between spectators and paintings to obscure any immediate perception of the social content of pictures. In "Ways of Seeing," John Berger also describes how oligarchic social structures have been...

Find Another Essay On Art as manipulation in Berger's "Ways of Seeing"

What is Art? in the context of Jeanette Winterson's "Art Objects" and John Berger's "The Pocket"

807 words - 3 pages class might take a trip out to a local gallery simply for the purpose of looking at paintings and trying to reproduce them or to learn about the history of the arts. However, I do not believe that is the most important purpose of art. In Winterson's Art Objects, she claims, "the author is the vehicle of transformation ". I agree, except that I would say that art itself is the vehicle of transformation. As both Jonathan Berger in The Shape of a

John Berger: Ways Of Seeing Essay

1767 words - 7 pages 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

Thinking Outside the Box in "Ways of Seeing"

707 words - 3 pages paintings. If a person is unwilling to think "outside the box" it can cause a lack of appreciation for certain things in life such as art. Spontaneity can help in many ways to break the barriers of vision. This spontaneity can cause a person to find their own unique way of observing something new. Learning about things of the past can also break the barrier of history because this can cause greater respect for objects and lifestyle of the past. Work Cited Berger, John. "Ways of Seeing." Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers ed. Barthalome, David, and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St.Martin's 2002.

Ways of Seeing by John Berger

1581 words - 6 pages The second visual essay in John Berger's “Ways of Seeing” is a showcase of images that depict the wealth and values of the upper class, and the productions of oil painting in the 16th,17th, and 18th century. The images in the second visual essay suggest that the subject matter of the paintings is dictated by the patron, and the values of the dominating upper class . I will investigate the following images more specifically in relation to this

Ways of Seeing by John Berger

1062 words - 4 pages In the book “Ways of Seeing,” John Berger explains several essential aspects of art through influence of the Marxism and art history that relates to social history and the sense of sight. Berger examines the dominance of ideologies in the history of traditional art and reflects on the history, class, and ideology as a field of cultural discourse, cultural consumption and cultural practice. Berger argues, “Realism is a powerful link to ownership

The Art of Manipulation in Othello by William Shakespeare

907 words - 4 pages of rhetoric and manipulation. Iago’s use of vivid imagery and story-telling gives Othello the impression that Desdemona is unfaithful. Iago begins his manipulation by getting Othello to visualize the affair. When Othello doubts Iago’s implication of Desdemona’s fickleness, Iago portrays the relationship in a bestial manner by saying, Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys, As salt as wolves in pride… As ignorance made drunk

New Ways of Thinking in Science and Art

1262 words - 5 pages have weight, and the movement of planets later influenced “astronomers to make accurate predictions which lead to the discovery of Uranus in 1781 and Neptune in 1864”¹( Lagemaat pg.227). Without Newton’s law of gravity these astronomers wouldn’t be able to proceed with these discoveries. So, once again, it’s equally important to discover new ways of thinking about what is already known than to discover new data or facts. Art has become to be

Money as the Symbol of Manipulation

750 words - 3 pages money around Guellen did the townspeople start to realize what was lacking in their life. This newfound access to finer quality food and worldly goods shift the towns morality and way of thinking. Money symbolizes not only a higher means of living but more opportunities as well. By the end of the book the loss of morals Guellen possesses held during the beginning of the play is evident. Claire manipulated the citizens with a luxury she knew they had little of. Not only was she able to attain revenge on Ill, her past lover, but the town of Guellen as well by disfiguring their simple mentality on life.

Manipulation of Words in Othello

972 words - 4 pages his cleverness and his patience to achieve his goals in the play. Othello becomes a dynamic character after getting convinced by Iago, that he began to perceive everyone differently. There are many ways in which characters in “Othello” perceive themselves and others differently. Othello changed his perception very significantly throughout the play. In the beginning of the play Othello loved Desdemona, but as the play went on Othello hated

Manipulation of Truth in Oliver Stone's JFK

1271 words - 5 pages successfully uses his final presentation of the factual Zapruder film to coerce a majority of both audiences into believing his contrived tale.      Oliver Stone incorporates facts such as the Zapruder film and the magic bullet theory into his 1991 film, JFK. This film is not intended to be a documentary, but rater a persuasive work of art that uses facts in order to convey fiction. Being a master of manipulation, Stone is

Art Expression as a Means of Therapy in Correctional Settings

1923 words - 8 pages nature of art therapy also serves to reduce boredom, ease mood, as well as build relationships between prisoners and staff thus promoting a safer and more cooperative environment. (Johnson 2008) Further, prison rehabilitation programs may work in ways other than prefenting future crime, such as humanizing the prison environment (Newbold, 2003) and improving prison management. Societal Benefits Reduced rate of re-offenders Challenges and Criticism

Similar Essays

Outlook On Paintings And Art In John Berger's Ways Of Seeing

596 words - 2 pages can be changed in many different ways. One may never understand the true meaning of art in a painting unless he or she is viewing the painting in its original form and avoiding obstructions such as reproductions of the painting with surroundings, or seeing only parts of the painting due to cameras zooming in, or even something as simple as listening to music while viewing art or seeing a written statement next to the painting. Paintings are best appreciated when you see the originals, not reproductions, and by seeing them without obstructions.

How We Learn In John Berger's Ways Of Seeing

1039 words - 5 pages When a young toddler begins to speak, naming things they see around them, it is because they saw their parents do it. As they grow into a teenagers, they give names to things based on what they have heard from their friends and social media. This pattern carries into adulthood. The way we identify things reflects the progression of understanding art featuring woman, as explored in John Berger’s Ways of Seeing. He presents the idea in chapter

Using Berger's "Ways Of Seeing," To Analyze George Inness's "Lake Trasimero."

895 words - 4 pages Our group some how found ourselves in the scenery and landscape art when trying to fulfill this assignment. Drawn to George Inness's painting "Lake Trasimero," we found it to be full of content that Berger discusses in Ways of Seeing. In "Lake Trasimero," the first glance thought is it's just a painting of nice scenery but take a second look and the painting reveals a vast amount of hidden details, but only upon ponderous thought will a viewer

Ways Of Seeing Essay

998 words - 4 pages in that landscape. Perhaps I am the rarity, or I am just not understanding the basic meaning of this particular sentence. When I go to a museum and look at the "art of the past" and the pottery and items used everyday, I don't situate myself in history. I may observe history, but I don't personally feel as though I'm suddenly there. One of the big points in the first essay that I do agree with is that through art making the travel, its meaning