About Looking

ISBN: 0844666351
ISBN 13: 9780844666358
By: John Berger

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About this book

Como romancista, crítico de arte e historiador da cultura, John Berger é um escritor de eloqüência deslumbrante e uma compreensão fascinante, cuja obra se torna uma crítica sutil e poderosa dos cânones de nossa civilização. Em Sobre o olhar ele explora nosso papel como observadores para revelar novas camadas de significado naquilo que vemos.Como é que os animais que contemplamos em zoológicos nos recordam uma relação entre animal e fera totalmente perdida no século XX? O que, quando olhamos fotografias de guerra, duplica sua violência já tão grande? Como é que os nus de Rodin revelam as ameaças que argila e carne representam à autoridade dele e sua potência? E como é que a solidão fundamenta a arte de Giacometti? Fazendo essas perguntas, e outras mais, Berger altera de maneira serena - mas fundamental - a visão de todos os que lêem sua obra

Reader's Thoughts



Erdem Tasdelen

Tell me something I don't know Berger, tell me something I don't know... Visual culture fully dumbed down.

Emily Iliani

The saddest part is that I am still concerned about the first chapter even after completing the whole book.


If you're new to Berger (or to the art world in general), I recommend skipping this and instead picking up "Ways of Seeing." That collection is far more accessible to a general audience. "About Looking" is full of Berger's insightful and impressive commentary on art and photography. (And the collection "Uses of Photography" in this work is a good read for those who make their living behind the lens.) Where this edition fails, for me, is in its lack of illustrative plates. My knowledge of art history is limited, so when Berger cites a painting, I don't have an image stored in my memory to attach to his essay. I need to see what he's talking about.And I have mixed feelings about the final essay, "Field." Berger's observations are right on, but I'm not sure I want the aesthetic experience of being in a field or witnessing the action in an adjacent field to be a conscious experience; I would sooner experience it viscerally and intellectualize it only in retrospect.


The chapter, "Looking at Animals," was particularly interesting.


An interesting enough collection of essays, although I would say that only the first and last in the collection are really essential. The rest read exactly as they are, newspaper or magazine columms with one or two interesting ideas not greatly developed, with a certaim ephemeral quality that comes from anything that is meant to be put in next weeks recycling. There is also a certain repition, which might have come either from a deadline or the rigidity of marxist analysis, However the first essay remains essential because it looks at a common institution, a zoo, that is seemingly little thought about, and does it in a convincing manner.


Felt that Berger had lost his sharp edge.


Berger's insights can be profound, but too often they seem to get bogged down in Marxist rhetoric and theory. I'd go so far to say that he's overrated, but at least he has a point of view and a well-argued one. I'd stick with his beguiling fiction instead.


Descubrí a Berger gracias a mi amiga Rosario. Me había contado una vez, hablando de las experiencias de mirar animales en Africa, que este libro tenía artículo sobre los animales en el zoológico. Coincidíamos en que mirar un animal en su "entorno supuestamente natural", te cambia mucho la percepción sobre los bichos y sobre la naturaleza en general. El libro es maravilloso. Es el arte de mirar, pero reflexionado de una manera super poética, pausada y reposada. El primer artículo sobre el análisis visual de una foto que retrata un grupo de músicos de pueblo de ida a un baile... es realmente entrañable.

Gary Turner

The critique of this book is so true. It will change the way you look and think of many things.


Great essays. My favourite is a description of a field in the last essay. I will never forget it.

Karla Carcamo

So far, my eyes are opening, haha.

Clif Wiens

Berger. Need more be said?


Very interesting though parts of it were beyond my wee brain. As usual ended up with a new list of things to look up.

Idan Brull

Every line or thought by Berger is a must have!

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