Archive for the ‘John Berger’ Category

Berger, John. ‘Understanding a photograph’ Classic Essays on Photography ed. by Alan Trachtenberg (New Haven: Leete’s Island Books, 1980) 291-294 p.291 Certainly the vast majority of people do not consider photography an art, even whilst they practise, enjoy, use and value it. It now seems clear that photography deserves to be considered as though it were […]

Takvan, Monica. ‘Perception and Knowledge – In Connection to the Eye and the Senses’, Photography & Culture, 3:3, 321-330 Research in Progress p.321 Perception is often connected to knowledge and information gained through the eyes, and when saying we understand something, the term “I see” is often used. Is seeing the equivalent of understanding? And is perceiving the same as […]



Price, Mary. ‘Metaphor’ The Photograph: A Strange, Confined Space (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994) 134-149 pp.134-135 Before photography, according to Ivins [William M, Ivins, Jr.], the syntactical analysis of a picture preceded the handmade reproduction, which became a symbolic representation of its original. references for reproduction are the woodcut, etching, or lithograph that reproduce a […]

Berger, John. ‘Uses of Photography’ About Looking (London: Bloomsbury, 2009) 52-67 [An essay for Susan Sontag, in reponse to On Photography] p.52 The speed with which the possible uses of photography were seized upon is surely an indication of photography’s profound, central applicability to industrial capitalism. It was not, however until the 20th century and the period […]



Berger, John. ‘Stories’ Another Way of Telling by John Berger and Jean Mohr (Cambridge: Granta Books, 1982) 277-289 p.280 A photograph is simpler than most memories, its range more limited. Yet with the invention of photography we acquired a new means of expression more closely associated with memory than any other. Both the photograph and the […]

Berger, John. ‘Ways of Remembering’ The Camerawork Essays: Context and Meaning in Photography ed. by Jessica Evans (London: Rivers Oram Press, 1997) 42-51 [originally published in 1978] p.42 [After Sontag] A photograph is similar to a footprint or a deathmask. It is a trace of a set of instant appearances. The camera, like the eye, […]



Bergere, John. ‘Appearances’ Another Way of Telling (New York: Vintage Books, 1982) 81- p.86 A photograph arrests the flow of time in which the event photographed once existed. All photographs are off the past, yet in them an instant of the past is arrested so that, unlike a lived past, it can never lead to […]

John Berger


“Before the invention of photography what served in its place? The obvious answer would be engravings, drawings, paintings, graphic works of one kind or another.  Yet, if one doesn’t look at it from a purely technical point of view, what served the function that photography now serves…was the faculty of memory.”