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Art as manipulation in Bergers Ways of Seeing To see only what is there is to be as blind as the night Annalyn Joie Tran Ways of Seeing closely analyses the way we think about art Indeed perspectives on aesthetic production have a history as John Berger states in the following phrases Today we see the art of the past as nobody saw it before We actually perceive it in a different way Seeing comes before words that is to say the world is perceived in different ways based on the preverbal unreal experience What one sees is what he believes he sees People add meaning to images based on their previous experience Bergers essay Ways of Seeing offers a view of our culture and emphasizes in particular the way that nowadays culture reproduces and makes use of images of the past Placed in museums on bulletin boards on T-shirts and in advertisements the images tell a story of us seen from a historic perspective Berger says The past is never there waiting to be discovered to be recognized for exactly what it is History always constitutes the relation between a present and its past Berger also claims The entire art of the past has now become a political issue and that were people to understand history in art the new language of images would confer them a new kind of power He goes further and challenges us to act responsibly and to take awareness of the connections that underlie within the concept of museum He describes the art museum as an instrument of the state being its function to manipulate our view over the past By means of the propaganda we are experiencing nowadays museums have acquired besides the cultural educational and aesthetic function political and social functions This is a Marxist idea that Berger incorporates in the following thoughts If we saw the art of the past we would situate ourselves
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