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John Berger, Ways of Seeing, 1972


Part of my research for this upcoming project involves looking at how women have been represented historically and presently in visual culture. Sadly, not much has changed in five hundred years. In 1972, John Berger wrote the book "Ways of Seeing," and it may seem outdated, however,  one becomes witness to and finds many links about the treatment of the female body in both classic european paintings and images of woman in contemporary culture. The link I shared is for episode two but I would reccomend watching all four episodes. It is an excellent critique of the treatment of the women's bodies in  classical european paintings. However, what is lacking in his analysis is the treatment of women of colour's bodies in classical european paintings. He does show Ingres "La Grande Odalisque," 1814, but Berger neglects to comment on the context in which this image was created. He does not look at her environement, the props, or the romancitzation of the racialized character. That is my only critique of this video; overall it is an important discussion and these issues are relevant to present day culture.

Posted by Raheleh Saneie "Rah" on 1/9/14

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