Ways of Seeing is a 1972 television series of 30-minute films created chiefly by writer John Berger and producer Mike Dibb. It was broadcast on BBC Two in January 1972 and adapted into a book of the same name. The series was intended as a response to Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation series, which represents a more traditionalist view of the Western artistic and cultural canon, and the series and book criticize traditional Western cultural aesthetics by raising questions about hidden ideologies in visual images. The first part of the television series drew on ideas from Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction arguing that through reproduction an Old Master’s painting’s modern context is severed from that which existed at the time of john berger books pdf making.
The second film discusses the female nude. Berger asserts that only twenty or thirty nudes in the European oil painting tradition depict a woman as herself rather than as a subject of male idealisation or desire. The third programme is on the use of oil paint as a means of depicting or reflecting the status of the individuals who commissioned the work of art. In the fourth programme, on publicity and advertising, Berger argues that colour photography has taken over the role of oil paint, though the context is reversed.
The book Ways of Seeing was written by Berger and Dibb, along with Sven Blomberg, Chris Fox, and Richard Hollis. The book has contributed to feminist readings of popular culture, through essays that focus particularly on how women are portrayed in advertisements and oil paintings.