Sense of Sight
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
With this provocative and infinitely moving collection of essays, a preeminent critic of our time responds to the profound questions posed by the visual world. For when John Berger writes about Cubism, he writes not only of Braque, Léger, Picasso, and Gris, but of that incredible moment early in this century when the world converged around a marvelouis sense of promise. When he looks at the Modigiliani, he sees a man's infinite love revealed in the elongated lines of the painted figure.
Ranging from the Renaissance to the conflagration of Hiroshima; from the Bosphorus to Manhattan; from the woodcarvers of a French village to Goya, Dürer, and Van Gogh; and from private experiences of love and of loss to the major political upheavals of our time, The Sense of Sight encourages us to see with the same breadth, courage, and moral engagement that its author does.
grass, and among the grass are mountain flowers: gentian, arnica, mountain anemones – and thousands of jonquils. It is possible to scramble up the mountain from any direction, but there is a path which takes the easiest route. Along this path there is a constant traffic of couples, fathers carrying babies, grandparents, schoolchildren. Many of them are barefoot. From below, the procession, ascending and descending, looks a little like a medieval vision of some exchange with heaven. The more so
with their wheels far apart – so that the cyclist gives the impression of hurriedly following the front wheel instead of bearing down upon it. At right angles to the main street are a number of rough roads which lead for half a mile or more towards the fields and woods and wasteland which surround the town. These are access roads to the houses on either side of them. Some of these houses are like suburban bungalows; others are old, very small cottages which contain no more than one room. A fair
ultimate – either sublimely or terribly. It is based on hierarchy, whereas here between the events of the landscape there is a restrained egalitarianism similar to that which was evident in the gardens between the human and the natural. It is the normalcy of this landscape which makes it seem boundless. In the National Gallery at Belgrade there is not a single painting which bears witness to any of these quintessential qualities. Nor can I think of many paintings elsewhere that do so. It is not
that what happens in the village is typical of human experience. This belief is only naïve if one interprets it in technological or organizational terms. He interprets it in terms of the species man. What fascinates him is the typology of human characters in all their variations, and the common destiny of birth and death, shared by all. Thus the foreground of the village’s living portrait of itself is extremely specific whilst the background consists of the most open, general, and never entirely
communication are close to what has been suppressed. These paintings were shown on Japanese television. Is it conceivable that the BBC would show these pictures on channel one at a peak hour? Without any reference to ‘political’ and ‘military’ realities, under the straight title, This is How It Was, 6th August 1945? I challenge them to do so. What happened on that day was, of course, neither the beginning nor the end of the act. It began months, years before, with the planning of the action,