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5.0 out of 5 stars
Why look at John Berger, 4 Oct. 2012
I have been aware of John Berger for half my life. Returning to his work is to regain entry into mysteries. I am a painter. Berger's persistent retelling of the poetic and artistic reveal something at the source of humanity. Can we understand what this is? There is something apparent to artists who commit themselves to the life of the world. His example is wonderful. When we report back from the life of animals we encounter a beautiful and terrible truth. Our culture is bound against life. Our societies are abstracted rather than real. We prefer cash to feeling. We are prepared to dehumanise people. For political power and the demands of commerce we will wage war against nature. We erect phoney identities for the 'other'. We build phoney identities for us. Yet, when we spend time just looking - other things happen. Looking exposes us and demands our engagement. When we make art from our looking we are exposed to what we see and who we are. Art can feel and at its best means to become responsible again. I engaged with Berger as a person. He chooses the political because that is the only genuine humanistic spirituality available to him. There are other choices available to us now. This is what emerged from the courage of a man like Berger. He is our pioneer. We have been fortunate to know him.