John Berger – Ways of Seeing

John Berger discussed in the 4 part documentary for BBC called Ways of Seeing, that we are often being told what to see due to social status. Often when we are told something is art, we start to look for a meaning, whether that be beauty, religion, death, or deeper meanings.

Sometimes the wrong meaning can be achieved by not showing the full picture or manipulating the picture.

Sometimes we are even told what to see, and this is done through critics. If a critic says they see hope in a piece of art, you immediately start to look for it, and often decide that the critic was right. However, doesn’t this take away the real beauty of a piece and make the viewer disconnect from the picture. In olden times, paintings were created to let the viewer demonstrate what they were at that times. Often they would show social status, economic wealth and maybe religious views.  Now art and advertising is about the viewers future, will this make them happy, will it better their lives.It can often try to make the viewer jealous or portray some sort of glamorous life, that will evoke a need in the viewer.