Agreeing and Disagreeing with Berger and Benjamin

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John Berger

What We See and What We Know

In the book Ways Of Seeing by John Berger, he indicates the connection between what we see and what we know is never appointed. We are surrounded by this thing called the world, however, in order to express it we have to use words. What we see does not necessarily have to be in arms reach, but if we see it then we know it is there, and either we believe it or we do not. I agree with John Berger in the book ‘Ways of seeing."

Viewing Women

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He also talks about women and they view themselves, as oppose to how men view women. As a woman I walk around and see other beautiful women that is either built differently than myself or has a different shade of skin-color. We often look at other people outside appearances and compare them to ourselves, and start to contemplate whether you would rather look like them.There is this old saying "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder." Do you agree? Well I agree with that old myth, Everyone's viewing depends upon their own preference. I cannot dictate how a person show perceive, or speak of something, only because I decided that's the way it should be viewed. As a child we were taught to savory ourselves to the world, and mainly to men, which is the success. Overtime women has been construed to being viewed nude to the naked eye.

Since the Renaissance women has been painted nude, or men dreamt of women in that such way, in which we want to be dreamt of. The new age has realized that nudity is what sells. When viewing a magazine, book, or social media nude women is the main topic. As women we have become comfortable in our skin, we really have no choice being that we are considered "Sex symbols." At the age of 20 years old is when I became comfortable with my existence, the shape of my body, the color of my skin, and being a woman. I dated this man for six years, and for the first 2 years of our relationship he would ask "why do sleep with clothes on it is just me and you? Why aren't you comfortable enough to walk about naked in front of me?" The answer was that I was not comfortable with my body, and the different hormones, and moods I go through. Also, mainly because I was not sure if my body was toned enough to be continuously viewed by him. I am not built like a cover girl, or a model. I do not have a flat stomach, long natural hair, etc... I thought that in order for me to be viewed as pretty, I had to look like people I we see on the television, or magazines, and books.

John Berger also talks about how women are often pictured naked, but yet we are the ones put to blame. Just like in Adam and Eve. Nakedness is created in the mind of the beholder. Whereas, the man becomes the agent of God. Now women are shame of the way the spectators view them, so we cover up a bit. "They aren't naked as they are, but naked as you see them." We often look in the mirror to see how others see us. We are as naked within clothes on as we are with clothes off.

Walter Benjamin

I am in agreeance and disagreeance with Walter Benjamin, book The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Mainly I agree that in the twentieth century the perception of film and photography was different. The changes of humanity existence, the way we look, and view visual art work is different. What a human has made can be reproducible by a man again, such as copying, to make money. The Greeks had only 2 ways of reproducing; which were The eye deceives faster than the hand can draw. I feel that mechanical reproduction plays a big role in the modern world. It gives people an opportunity to view a painting, without having to travel to view it. The originality of a work of art is authentic when it has not been reproduced. I disagree with Benjamin when he talks about films and photography do not have their own aura. I believe they do have their own aura. Reason being is because, a film can be viewed many different ways, and has different subliminal messages. A photograph As the same as a photograph. In the modern world people are able to express themselves in many ways when it comes to art. Whether, it be painting, drawing, sketching, or film, or photography. In todays world, mechanical reproduction plays a big part.

In conclusion: For example, Benjamin talks about the value of art, he says there are two; cult and value. Which the way a person value art depends on their personal preference. The same with writers, poets, singers, they are all a form of mechanical reproduction, and if it was up to Benjamin there would not be any books on the shelves. If we follow the cult of art then there would not be any access for great paintings such as Adolf Hitler for example.

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