Tuesday, May 30, 2017

John Berger / Ways of Seeing , Episode 2 (1972)

This week is episode two of "Ways of Seeing".  Sorry if you were looking for this post yesterday. Next week I'll go back to posting the movies/shows on Monday.  
I wasn't sure if I was going to post any more of this show but John Preston told me he watched this and found it fairly interesting so I thought I may as well.  Wow, there's a lot to chew on in just 28 minutes of content. My mind is still swirling and I'm having a hard time nailing down what to start with. The nude vs naked topic might be a good place. In college one of my art history professors brought up this topic.  It was a lot more funny when she spoke about it though because she was an older, very petite, southern belle. When she said the word naked we all giggled. I think the woman towards the end said it best, naked is a costume you can't get out of. Some people have those nightmares about being naked in public spaces. Like giving a speech and you suddenly realise you forgot to put on your trousers that day. In those instances it's probably a fear of being judged for something you're not presenting. Sometimes you hear a woman say something like, I feel so naked without my lipstick. It's because when they wear a certain lipstick they're presenting themselves in the way they want to be seen, but without it we see them the way they really are. Nine times out of 10 they look fine either way, but if the lipstick gives them the confidence they need it can mean the difference between conquering the mountain or not getting out of bed. 
Going to the beginning of this episode it was said that with the paintings, "we can see how women were seen"  Can we? I'm not so sure. It seems to me we can see how some women were seen by some people and interpreted by certain painters. This combined with the comments towards the end of the show abut not being able to relate to the women in the paintings is something we still struggle with. I've always questioned whether or not people REALLY looked like how they're depicted in a Renaissance painting. Did they all have that pale, dead looking skin, almond shaped eyes and long pointy noses? Evolution, right? They could have really looked like that and we've all just evolved to look the way we do now. Hearing the woman comment on how the women in the paintings are not realistic and it's why she can't relate gave me a sigh of relief. The paintings were like the first photo manipulation software. The painter could make the women look a certain way even if that's not how they really looked. Photoshop isn't such a new concept. 
Again, there is a lot to chew on with this episode. 

No comments:

Post a Comment