The Complications of Perception
In the reading for this week, John Berger dives into the deeply complex concept of perception. Towards the beginning of the reading, we are given a broad overview of the many factors that can alter ones perception, be it emotional attachment, cultural background, religious beliefs, or even physical location. The main point in mentioning all of the varying factors is to demonstrate that since no two people are exactly the same, no two perceptions are either.
The reading goes on to discuss the relationship between technological progression and how it influenced the development of perception throughout history. With the invention of the camera, artists were able to create a tailored perception of their target through multiple different viewpoints. I would like to think that this development was a primary catalyst for the shifting of artistic eras.
One of the most compelling ideas for me was the relationship between written text and artwork. Berger discusses how combining a work of art with a descriptive or maybe even arbitrary piece of text can alter the viewers perception of the work. I definitely think that this is true for myself when analyzing art, the more descriptive the text, the less my imagination takes over. However, when there is no text associated, I find myself creating a wide variety of possible explanations for a work of art. Overall, I found the reading to be really interesting and also helpful in regards to this semesters discussion of artwork.