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Berger didn’t want to be called a critic. He had bad associations with the word. Where there is formal analysis, his Marxist reasoning implied, there is patrolling and commodifying. He sometimes used formal analysis, but as an opening maneuver, as a means to an end. (The end was often a thought about desire and work and human dignity in relation to profit.) Anyway, no matter what he thought, criticism is wide enough to encompass him. To some degree he made it so: he expanded the practice.

In a 1995 essay about Michelangelo, he begins, typically, with a look and a question. “I am craning my neck to look up at the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Creation of Adam—do you think, like me, that once you dreamt the touch of that hand and the extraordinary moment of withdrawal?” To describe his vantage point, physical and social and psychological, in relation to what is being seen, and then subvert the mode of the lecture: this was his mother-riff, one perhaps developed in direct-address takes on TV as a contributor in the early Sixties for the BBC arts program Monitor, and in his own 1972 BBC series Ways of Seeing (which you can and should look at on YouTube right now). Early on, his questions were rhetorical. Later they became apostrophic speech or actual correspondence; this essay is directed toward a friend, the artist Marisa Camino.

full: http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/01/12/song-of-john-berger/
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