Ways Of Seeing Essay

998 words - 4 pages

The biggest difficulty I ended up having with this reading was being able to look at it philosophically. So rather than cause myself undue headache, I read it as myself, a person who has read a lot of literature but isn't so great on the art aspect of things. The idea that images are more precise and richer than literature is probably true, although it is not a concept that I necessarily agree with. The beauty of un-illustrated literature is the ability to devise one's own images. While images are more precise, therefore, I believe that imagined images based on text are far richer. Also, I feel that the idea of "when we `see' a landscape, we situate ourselves in it. If we `saw' the art of the past, we would situate ourselves in history," is, if not antiquated, then not necessarily true of the majority (p.11). I can honestly say that I have never looked at a landscape and situated myself in that landscape. Perhaps I am the rarity, or I am just not understanding the basic meaning of this particular sentence. When I go to a museum and look at the "art of the past" and the pottery and items used everyday, I don't situate myself in history. I may observe history, but I don't personally feel as though I'm suddenly there. One of the big points in the first essay that I do agree with is that through art making the travel, its meaning is diversified. I don't know how many people look at a particular piece of artwork and feel the exact same thing as someone else. To me, that outlook would be incredibly dull. I don't necessarily agree that the only way that art can have multiple meanings to multiple people is to be shown through the television where it then becomes a part of another persons home amidst their belongings. I think, rather, that every human has a different perception and sees different things differently, regardless of its location. I will agree that the majority of the population do not visit art museums. I don't feel that this is because the majority believes that museums are full of holy relics, or that they feel that original masterpieces should belong only to the rich and privileged. Rather, I enjoy going to art museums. What I do not enjoy is the constant remodeling and renovating of most museums that I go to. There are some exhibits that I want to see. There are others that I do not. Invariably, the exhibits I want to see are closed, and the ones that I don't care about are open.

The thing I enjoyed most and related most with in the first essay is the comment by Cezanne, "A minute in the world's life passes! To paint it in its reality, and forget everything for that! To become that minute, to be the sensitive plates... give the image of what we see, forgetting everything that has appeared...

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