Professional Writing: Process and Practice
EN 1700 – Fall/Winter 2009/2010 – Jan Rehner
Lecture 6 – Berger – Oct 26
Berger; Cultural, Class & Gender Analyses Mystification, Property, The Nude
- Reveal hidden ideologies in the images.
- Employs strategies of cultural analysis (considers the conceptual underpinnings
and the implied messages hidden in visual and verbal text). In cultural analysis
o What kind of reality does the text construct?
o For what purpose and in whose interest?
o Who benefits?
o Who’s views are privileged?
o Who’s views are left out and marginalized?
- Normal – status quo, the way we think things are, the way we think that things
have always been. We often internalize the status quo, we hear it over and over
and because other people share these views. We assume that these
assumptions are right.
- In Ways of Seeing, he tries to make see beyond the status quo and invade your
comfort zone. Challenge you and make you think.
- Mystifies the art rather than clarifying it. It puts art on an elite pedestal. It raising it
into the realm of high culture. Divorced from ordinary life. Because art has this
discourse, we are afraid of what we will see.
- Berger tries to break the pretentious way of thinking about art.
- The notion to say something smart about art, there is something else that you
can talk about.
- What is that you see when you look at the mona lisa?
o Tuscan landscape
o Her smile
o The history of the painting.
- Reproduction can change the context that you are reading the image.
- When it is not reproduced many times, you can analyse the original message of
- ‘Ambassadors’ painting – class analysis, is that it makes you see that the
ambassadors have status. The way their standing, dressed. What things in the
picture have to do with exploration? Are spreading a culture which they assume
is superior to other cultures.
- Reading the image and linking it to each one’s lived experience.
- Points out that in the picture, there is a skull. Has a philosophical meaning to it.
- ‘Mister and Misses Andrews’ – expressions on their faces. About class, from what
they are wearing and how they are standing. - If you could afford to get someone to do a painting, you can control the image it