To be continued by the reader…
A workshop space on Ways of Seeing by John Berger
25.01.2017 – 03.03.2017
Private view on 24.01.2017
Curated by Cui Chen, Nadine Cordial Settele, Paul Davey, Yuen Yu Ho, Deborah Lim, Yue Li, Yuran Lin, Maria Kobzareva, Flavia Prestininzi, Chinmayi Swami, Zhou Xiaodeng.
This project comprises of two components: a main exhibition presented via an online Tumblr blog, and a workshop space within the Exhibition Studio Workshop. It is an exploration of key ideas introduced in Ways of Seeing (1972), a BBC TV series of four films, written and presented by John Berger. The book was published by Penguin Books and the BBC shortly after.
The blog is accessible via the iPads in the room and on any mobile device or computer. It presents a selection of primary material from the book including relevant quotes, paragraphs, images and video clips – essentially serving as a close reading of the text.
The workshop space is an accompaniment to the blog, in which participants are invited to revisit ideas in Ways of Seeing, and examine how they carry through to contemporary society and culture. It consists of four activities:
Activity One: A mechanical eye
Activity Two: Nudity is a form of dress
Activity Three: The world-as-it-is
Activity Four: The free world
Related reading material and other books by John Berger can be found in the three vitrines within the room.
Both the material on the blog and within the workshop space is meant to provoke deeper thought on the part of the viewer, instigating questions of how such ideas continue and can be interpreted in a modern-day context.
John Berger (1926 – 2017) was a British art critic, novelist and political essayist. His novel G. won the Booker Prize in 1972 and Ways of Seeing became an iconic and highly influential work, often used as a university text.
He studied Fine Arts at the Central School of Fine Arts (today Central Saint Martins), as well as at Chelsea College of Arts. He began his career as a painter and also wrote poetry, screenplays and writings on photography. He addressed issues such as the exploitation of migrant workers, the Palestinian struggle for statehood, and his Marxist humanist views were demonstrated in his opinions on art.