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Another Way of Telling [Format Kindle]

John Berger

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

There are no photographs which can be denied. All photographs have the status of fact. What is to be examined is in what way photography can and cannot give meaning to facts." With these words, two of our most thoughtful and eloquent interrogators of the visual offer a singular meditation on the ambiguities of what is seemingly our most straightforward art form.

As constructed by John Berger and the renowned Swiss photographer Jean Mohr, that theory includes images as well as words; not only analysis, but anecdote and memoir. Another Way of Telling explores the tension between the photographer and the photographed, between the picture and its viewers, between the filmed moment and the memories that it so resembles. Combining the moral vision of the critic and the practical engagement of the photographer, Berger and Mohr have produced a work that expands the frontiers of criticism first charged by Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag.

"One of the world's most influential art, critics ... Berger sees clearly with fresh surprise yet profound understanding." -- Washington Times

Présentation de l'éditeur

"There are no photographs which can be denied. All photographs have the status of fact. What is to be examined is in what way photography can and cannot give meaning to facts." With these words, two of our most thoughtful and eloquent interrogators of the visual offer a singular meditation on the ambiguities of what is seemingly our straightforward art form.
   As constructed by John Berger and the renowned Swiss photographer Jean Mohr, that theory includes images as well as words; not only analysis, but anecdote and memoir. Another Way of Telling explores the tension between the photographer and the photographed, between the picture and its viewers, between the filmed moment and the memories that it so resembles. Combining the moral vision of the critic and the pratical engagement of the photgrapher, Berger and Mohr have produced a work that expands the frontiers of criticism first charged by Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag. 

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 9086 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 304 pages
  • Editeur : Vintage; Édition : Reissue (13 juillet 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004N63644
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°323.427 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 3.9 étoiles sur 5  8 commentaires
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Interpreting how we make sense of a photo 5 octobre 2012
Par Wonnie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Very interesting explanation on the nature of our understanding of a photo (by Berger) and colourful photo stories (by Mohr). Mohr's essay on taking photos and then being the other side where the life is actually experienced was quite memorable (now with wearable digital cameras such as Autographer, it is kind of possible to be on both sides at the same time). Berger's account on how a time-frozen photo, without its connecting time sequences, can be read by looking at the supplied contents in that static frame is very sharp and well-explained. Overall light-weight reading but so intriguing content - highly recommendable.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Eyes to the soul 12 avril 2015
Par s.p - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I used this book while living in a shelter. I find Berger's writing to be excellent; he helped me realize that my eyes are the guide to my soul
0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Perfect 22 juillet 2013
Par W. Chang - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Truly the perfect book about photography and narrative. Both Berger and Mohr are natural collaborators and must must must work together again.
1 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Smug and elitist artistes 26 février 2015
Par Alex Lint - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
What does it mean to exploit someone else as an artist or a photographer?

The book, Another Way of Telling, opens with a couple of instances of the photographer taking pictures of third parties. In the first, a French farmer teases him for taking his picture, and the photographer ignores the objection. In the second instance, the photographer takes photos of a blind Indian girl while she reacts to his imitating animal noises.

While I find the latter anecdote cute, I wonder whether it was proper. Playing the game with the girl sounds fine, but when the author starts taking pictures of her without her knowledge, I begin to wonder whether he’s crossed the line into exploitation. The kid thinks she’s playing a game with a stranger; instead, he’s watching her and using her as a photographer’s model. At what point did his half of the interaction cease being a cute game and cross over into a calculated strategy to elicit photogenic poses from the unsuspecting girl? Did he think of the girl as an individual, or as a photogenic, suitably ethnic, dark skinned Third World subject of his photographic livelihood?

Let’s be honest, shall we? The photos wouldn’t be as interesting if the photographer did not go out of his way to give us the context: specifically that the kid is from the Third World, that she is blind, that she doesn’t know she’s being photographed, that she is vulnerable and that we can see her secret pleasures. Isn’t part of the reason that we enjoy these pictures, and, indeed, part of the reason why the photographer troubled to include the explanation of the circumstances, that we enjoy the prurient aspect of the girl being viewed without (yet simultaneously with) her own knowledge and acquiescence? Is that why I feel like a voyeur when I look at her pictures?

All of us have had the experience of being on either side of the lens. In northern Arizona, many Native Americans, especially the Hopi, have strong feelings against being photographed. In fact, photography is banned entirely on the Hopi reservation, not only because they have religious qualms about it, but also -- even mainly -- because they’re tired of being objects of curiosity by rubbernecking tourists and would-be artists and anthropologists. I remember visiting a cemetery in Croatia years ago and trying to photograph an old woman by a grave. She turned around and came up to me. “Ne smije", she said in a creaky voice, “Ne smije.” Depending on one’s ethnic background, the phrase could translate as either “You shouldn’t” or “You mustn’t”.

She was right. I put away the camera. Her grief was not a photo-op.

On the other hand, I’ve sometimes been in the opposite situation. I often take my kids crabbing at the local wharf. There, I sometimes find myself almost an animated prop for tourist photos. The first time a German tourist asked to videotape me holding up a crab for his camera, I thought it was a joke. There are times when I think that, to complete their tourist experience, I ought to dress up like Huck Finn when they take their photos of me and the crab nets, but I don’t think it would work. The tourists like to think that they’re really experiencing something unmediated by self-conscious self-parody. In that interaction, I play the part of the un-self-conscious blind Indian girl, and it would be improper for me to let the tourists know that I am aware of being photographed. I would cease being an ignorant, happy native, and would become an adult like them. That would ruin the “primitive” nature of the photograph, and I don’t want to spoil their tourist mementoes.

I see a lot of smugness and condescension when I read the first twenty pages of text in this book. The photographer has a fairly nice looking picture of the cow’s eye, together with a comment by the owner of the cow that he doesn’t like such pictures. He also includes a stiff portrait of the farmer where the farmer is dressed in his best clothing with his hair slicked back to the side, complete with a pointed commentary that this is how the farmer wants to be seen by outsiders. In every other photograph, the photographer has ignored the farmer’s preferences regarding how he likes the farm and himself, the farmer, to be seen. The photographer has also ignored how the farmer sees himself, just as he brushed off how the Indian girl sees herself. Somehow, I think, I am supposed to look down on this last photo of the farmer dressed unnaturally in his Sunday best and conclude that the farmer has become seduced by outside images of what he himself is supposed to look like. I am urged to believe that were the farmer truly comfortable with himself as a rugged, self-reliant peasant, he would relish the photos of himself at work, looking natural, looking dirty, looking unkempt, looking primitive -- just as we armchair intellectuals who read the book prefer such pictures of him.

The photographer takes his pictures without the consent of the subjects and indeed, against their wishes and in subversion of their view of themselves. In both cases, the photographer exploits the otherness of the subject, emphasizing the primitive nature of the persons being photographed, their lack of artistic or emotional sophistication, their lack of modern amenities and gadgets.

The subject dairy farmers explicitly tell the photographer that they are not his photo-ops, but he ignores them and takes the pictures anyway, actually italicizing the word "taking" in his text. Apparently I’m supposed to join the photographer in feeling proud that he ignored his subject’s wishes. Later, the photographer makes a point of informing the reader that the farmer doesn’t like the sort of photos that he takes, and he subtly ridicules the farmer’s taste and invites the reader to join him in disparaging the farmer’s primitive taste while supposedly reveling in his “primitive”, “untouched” status. He even takes the two photos that the farmer specifically criticises and puts them on the cover of his book. Maybe the farmer should have dressed up as Huck Finn for the camera. But then again, isn’t it so much better when we can find a real Huck Finn who doesn’t have to dress up specially for us to feel superior to him?

The bottom line for me is that these pictures, and the ones that follow, seem to accentuate the photographer’s distance from his subject rather than his closeness to it. I never get the impression that he really identifies with the farmer, only that he wants to get close enough to him to take a bunch of good pictures. In fact, the photographer makes clear the class distinction between himself and his subjects -- he does not identify with his lower class subjects, he’s just slumming.
0 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 a great photograpy book 6 octobre 2011
Par ajg - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
this is a beautiful book. if you like artistic black and white photgraphy then check this book out. i had to buy for a b&w photograpy class in college but i am so glad we had to buy it. its also a fun coffee table book. there are some amazing photos in here and some good inspiration for the aspiring photographer.
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