Friday, 1 April 2011
John Berger on ways of seeing.
The national gallery sells more reprductions of leonardos cartoon of the virgin and child with st anne and st john the baptist than any other picture in their collection, a few years ago it was known only to scholars. It became famous because an american wanted to buy it for two and a half million pounds.Now it hands in a room by itself, the room is like a chapel, the drawingf is behind bullet proff perspex. It has aquired a new kind of impressiveness. Not because of waht it shows, not because of the meaning of its image. It has becaome impressive , mysterious because of its market value.The bogus religousity which now surrounds original works of art, and which is ultimately deopendant upon what paintings lost when the camera made them reproducible. Its continuing values of oligarchic , undemocratic culture. If the image is no longer unqie and exclusive, the art obnject, the thing must be made mysteriously so.