John Berger's Ways of Seeing

The day before yesterday on Jan 2nd, the acclaimed art critic and writer John Berger passed away at 90 years of age.  Berger, along with director Mike Dibbs, created a now-famous series of revolutionary programming on the BBC in England in 1972 called Ways of Seeing.  The series examined a number of visual and social dynamics common to the world at the time using historical references throughout art, media and cultural study.    

The 4-part series can be viewed in its entirety on Youtube, and can be acquired in book form as well.   In Part 1, Berger discusses the role of the camera, in particular its ability to reproduce images and how that ability fundamentally changed the art object:


Of all topics covered in Ways of Seeing, the most well-cited and controversial may be the idea of the "male gaze" and the role of women as depicted in art and literature.

"Men dream of women, women dreams of themselves being dreamt of.  Men look at women, women watch themselves being looked at"
A BAFTA award-winning series with John Berger, which rapidly became regarded as one of the most influential art programmes ever made. This second programme deals with the portrayal of the female nude, an important part of the tradition of European art.

We recommend checking out Ways of Seeing as a thoughtful examination of how we see, and the symbolic meanings behind that action.  What do you think about what Berger has to say?  Do you agree with his ideas?  Feel free to respond below.