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Universidad de Puerto Rico

Recinto de Río Piedras

Facultad de Humanidades

Reaction: Ways of Seeing

By John Berger


ARTE 3901-003



Art, images, literature, seeing…? So many ways of expressing an emotion, a basic but so

complicated feeling that we believe in, an ineffable feeling. Can we draw something that we

don’t have knowledge of? Love, sadness, anger... or it’s up to the person that is looking at the

work of art? And is it really a work of art? What is a work of art? The way that we see things is

in fact affected by what we know or what we believe. But is believing knowing? There is a big

difference between believing and knowing. When you believe it means that you have accepted

something to be true, or you are confident and have trust in something. But when we know

something, we have the knowledge, or better yet, we have the necessary facts and knowledge

to prove our belief is true, that is an asserted belief.

A WORK OF ART in the visual arts is a physical two, three and four dimensional object that

is professionally determined or popularly considered to fulfill a primarily independent AESTHETIC

function. And AESTHETICS is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and

taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the

study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and

taste. But sometimes is more than aesthetics… maybe ugliness, bad odors or negative
objections. Painters make choices and difficult ones, a photographer makes a choice of subject

and people make the choice of appreciating the art, and that concludes the market value.

In a film the argument is irreversible, but in paintings it maintains its own authority and

that’s why we can see it in many ways and beliefs. You see and interpret the art at your own

risk. The fact that the art of the past is forgotten because it has lost its authority and in its place

came language of images is our own decision. We have the choice to accept that the entire art

of the past has now become a political issue.

Is the social presence of a woman different in some kind from that of a man? Do you

really believe that he pretends to be capable of what he is not? That says a lot of a person who

pretends to be the dominant sex or leader. Maybe because we us women express our own

attitude, and define what can and cannot be done to us. Our presence is manifested in almost

everything we do, like gestures, voice, opinions, expressions, clothes, chosen surroundings,

taste, and many more. Are we consider a surveyor? Of course, we had to be surveyor because

we express everything instead the man expresses nothing, right? And to top it all, the way

we(woman) appear to a man can determine how we will be treated. Seriously…? I don’t even

have to say the word to determine how the society has put the man. Maybe its that injustice

doesn’t exist in a man’s dictionary. But if you see a nude man and think violently then a lot of
bad thing man has done to deserve that. Then there is belief, but more than that, is a

knowledge that the man has but in peoples mind.

I want to emphasizes the story of Genesis in the Bible, says that the woman is blamed

and is punished by being subservient to the man. I want to ask… Why was she first created? It

wasn’t to serve the man needs? That doesn’t make her his subservient? And wasn’t man

created first to wonder and evolved… and that doesn’t make him a leader or better yet an

agent of God? It’s all in what you believe in and interpreted the stuff. And if that isn’t right why

in page 55 say, “woman are there to feed an appetite, not to have any of their own”? Men just

believe that they are superior to woman but the difference is, words, nothing else, in a book

that has more years than many of us and we don’t know if it’s really true of just a story.

Machismo is a word that will describe the injustice that has ruled throughout the years.

Berger, John. "Chapter 1." In Ways of Seeing, by John Berger, 79. London: Penguin Group, 1972.

Berger, John. "Chapter 3." In Ways of Seeing, by John Berger, 79. London: Penguin Group, 1972.