Essay On Ways Of Seeing By John Berger

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“What the modern means of reproduction have done is to destroy the authority of art and to remove it.” (Berger, 126) This quote from, ‘Ways of Seeing’ indicates a portion of John Berger’s bitterness towards the reproduction of art. Throughout his essay he states that reproduction has belittled the original, and has made images of art valueless. On the contrary, I believe that the reproduction of art has generated countless benefits for the art community, such as knowledge, popularity, and value.
In John Berger’s essay, he brings up many cases where the reproduction of art has had many negative situations. However, he is ignorant to any of the other possibilities dealing with art. I believe along with many others that the reproduction of art
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He suggests “The uniqueness of every painting was once part of the uniqueness of the place where it resided.” (Berger,114) This is one of his main points to why the camera has been harmful. He believes that paintings should not be recreated and moved so that they cannot be seen in multiple places at the same time. Also, he thinks that by moving the image, it changes the meaning of the original. So, by reproducing and moving the art, he states that this availably ruins the quality and uniqueness of art. Whereas I think that without reproduction, art would be nothing like it is today. Then art is not damaged by reproduction, it is pushed to new levels of engagement that would not be found without reproduction. A large fault in the mindsets of those who believe that art should not be reproduced, is that without reproduction, then we would not have any history of art. In some cases, we would not even have any knowledge of art. I believe the camera presented a new opportunity for people to see things that would not normally be available. In today’s times, reproductions are everywhere. You cannot look inside a home or even go outside without finding something that has been reproduced by a camera or other means. We use reproductions for other beneficial means such as educational purposes. Look at our history textbooks. How would we even have any …show more content…
As Berger expresses his opinion in his essay, he states “…images of art have become ephemeral, ubiquitous, insubstantial, available, valueless, free.” (Berger, 126) This statement makes it clear that Berger feels that reproduction has destroyed the value of art. He believes that by reproduction, the original is hurt the most because less people will find appealing. Alternatively, I feel that a positive point of reproducing is the value. The value of art is based on how many people believe that it is worthy. So, with just the originals, very few people are given the chance to view a work of art. On top of that, people would not have seen the artists other works to know their credibility. Reproduction is the key to getting more people to acknowledge the time and effort that it takes to create a masterpiece. This is how reproductions boosts the value of art and opposes Berger’s

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