Ways of SeeingAugust 13, 2010
Art by Madokan Suzuki
Ways of Seeing by John Berger
Ways of Seeing is a 1972 BBC four-part television series of 30 minute films created chiefly by writer John Berger and producer Mike Dibb. Berger’s scripts were adapted into a book of the same name. The series criticize traditional Western cultural aesthetics by raising questions about hidden ideologies in visual images. It is considered to be a seminal work for current studies of visual culture and art history.
The first part of the television series drew on ideas from Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” arguing that through reproduction an old master painting’s modern context is severed from that which existed at the time of its making. The second film discusses the female nude. Berger asserts that only twenty or thirty old masters depict a woman as herself rather than as a subject of male idealization or desire.