Ways of Seeing
This first essay in Ways of Seeing makes an intriguing claim, “The relation between what we see and what we know will never be settled. ” This is a great starting point for framing the essay in terms of how we think we know something based on the ways that we perceive them. We have words at our disposal, and yet words never seem to fully capture the essence of what we know. So what do we really know? And how do we know that we know? Etc… etc… etc… Mr. Berger addresses this seemingly impossible question the notion of a ‘seeing before words.
’ By this, he bypasses the barrier that language imposes in an attempt to isolate the fact that we can only see what we look at. Furthermore, what we look at is a choice that we make while how and what we look at is what we use to base our descriptions on when trying to explain what it is we see. Yet what we explain is not really what we see, it is the relationship between what we see and which words we use. In this sense, we can only allude to an image of what we see; of our way of seeing, in this sense our perspective is always, already a mystification, regardless of the clarity of our descriptions.
This is a thoroughly engaging essay that utilizes visual examples to illustrate how we can see different things even when we are looking at the same image. From Magritte’s juxtapositions of words that seemingly have nothing in common with the image, to the invention of the camera and the notion of photorealism, and even all the way back to art of Leonardo da Vinci, Mr. Berger shows us how our notions of authenticity and truth are contingent upon our perceptions and how we use language to locate ourselves in a world of images.Sample Essay of BuyEssay.org