Ways of Seeing

By John Berger (1972)
John Berger’s, The Ways of Seeing, based on the groundbreaking BBC television series of the same name, challenges us to rethink the ways in which we view the world and the many images that surround it. Every image that confronts us embodies a way of seeing (i.e. the photographer’s, the painter’s, etc) but it is the way in which we see that image – the perspective of the beholder – that is of especial interest to Berger. Before the invention of the camera, which ushered in an “age of reproduction,” the spectator’s perspective in relation to the work of art was dominant. Now, instead of the “spectator traveling to the image” the “image travels to the spectator.” Through the means of reproduction, the meaning of art was indelibly changed.

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