Updated: 7/7/2020
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Storyboard Text

  • The religiosity usually linked with cash value, but always invoked in the name of culture and civilization is, in fact, a substitute for what paintings lost when the camera made them reproducible.
  • My name is John Berger, and this is Ways of Seeing, Episode 1
  • I've never thought of that before. I suppose art experts describe a painting's meaning by retorting meaningless generalizations because they believe that the viewer cannot reach their conclusions.
  • The camera, by making the work of art transmittable, has multiplied its possible meanings and destroyed its unique original meaning.
  • The camera can reproduce works of art and make it available in any size for any purpose. The invention of the camera has multiplied an artwork's possible meanings while simultaneously destroying its unique original meaning.
  • A painting's environment confirms and consolidates its meaning. In front of a work of art, unlike seeing a replica or watching it on T.V., a person can feel the uniqueness and authenticity radiating from the artwork.
  • Wow. Watching this video has opened my eyes. I wonder, as time progresses, do works of art become more valuable because they have survived, or do they lose their worth and slowly become forgotten? Is art a universal treasure that invariably maintains its meaning, or does its meaning change depending on how society chooses to view it?
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