John Berger quotes
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John Berger Quotes

Quotes by John Berger - (36 quotes)

John Berger - From the Aging category:

The past grows gradually around one, like a placenta for dying. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Art category:

I can't tell you what art does and how it does it, but I know that art has often judged the judges, pleaded revenge to the innocent and shown to the future what the past has suffered, so that it has never been forgotten. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Beauty category:

That we find a crystal or a poppy beautiful means that we are less alone, that we are more deeply inserted into existence than the course of a single life would lead us to believe. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Books category:

When we read a story, we inhabit it. The covers of the book are like a roof and four walls. What is to happen next will take place within the four walls of the story. And this is possible because the story's voice makes everything its own. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Challenge category:

When a painter is working he is aware of the means which are available to him - these include his materials, the style he inherits, the conventions he must obey, his prescribed or freely chosen subject matter - as constituting both an opportunity and a restraint. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Challenge category:

By working and using the opportunity he becomes conscious of some of its limits. These limits challenge him, at either an artisanal, a magical or an imaginative level. He pushes against one or several of them. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Children category:

Nothing fortuitous happens in a child's world. There are no accidents. Everything is connected with everything else and everything can be explained by everything else... For a young child everything that happens is a necessity. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Critics category:

Post-modernism has cut off the present from all futures. The daily media add to this by cutting off the past. Which means that critical opinion is often orphaned in the present. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Drawing category:

What do drawings mean to me? I really don't know. The activity absorbs me. I forget everything else in a way that I don't think happens with any other activity... (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Envy category:

Glamour cannot exist without personal social envy being a common and widespread emotion. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Finishing category:

The extreme proposition on which Giacometti based all his mature work was that no reality... could ever be shared. This is why he believed it impossible for a work to be finished. This is why the content of any work is not the nature of the figure or head portrayed but the incomplete history of him staring at it. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Imagination category:

The human imagination... has great difficulty in living strictly within the confines of a materialist practice or philosophy. It dreams, like a dog in its basket, of hares in the open. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Intimacy category:

There's the artist's intimacy and truthfulness to himself, but an equal intimacy to the Other [the one drawn]. Picasso drawings are like that... the Rembrandts are like that. The artist who most often did that was Van Gogh. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Language category:

One can say of language that it is potentially the only human home, the only dwelling place that cannot be hostile to man. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Masters category:

-on Vincent van Gogh...
When he painted a road, the roadmakers were there in his imagination; when he painted the turned earth of a ploughed field, the gesture of the blade turning the earth was included in his own act. Whenever he looked he saw the labour of existence; and this labour, recognised as such, was what constituted reality for him. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Mediums category:

I use charcoal a lot. Partly because it has such a fantastic range but also because it is very easy to erase. For me, drawing is a lot to do with taking out, with returning to the white of the paper. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Memory category:

Because each one of us forgets different things, a photo, more than a painting, may change its meaning according to who is looking at it. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Models category:

The impulse to paint comes neither from observation nor from the soul (which is probably blind) but from an encounter: the encounter between painter and model, even if the model is a mountain or a shelf of empty medicine bottles. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Nudes category:

To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognised for oneself. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Nudes category:

Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display. The nude is condemned to never being naked. Nudity is a form of dress. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Opposites category:

All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget. In this - as in other ways - they are the opposite of paintings. Paintings record what the painter remembers. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Painting category:

What any true painting touches is an absence - an absence of which without the painting, we might be unaware. And that would be our loss. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Performance category:

What is saved in the cinema when it achieves art is a spontaneous continuity with all mankind. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Performance category:

Theatre brings actors before a public and every night during the season they re-enact the same drama. Deep in the nature of theatre is a sense of ritual. The cinema, by contrast, transports its audience individually, singly, out of the theatre towards the unknown. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Pets category:

Never chain your dogs together with sausages. One must accustom one's self to be bored. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Photography category:

What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Photography category:

Unlike any other visual image, a photograph is not a rendering, an imitation or an interpretation of its subject, but actually a trace of it. No painting or drawing, however naturalist, belongs to its subject in the way that a photograph does. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Photography category:

The camera relieves us of the burden of memory. It surveys us like God, and it surveys for us. Yet no other god has been so cynical, for the camera records in order to forget. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Planning category:

You can plan events, but if they go according to your plan they are not events. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Poetry category:

Every authentic poem contributes to the labour of poetry... to bring together what life has separated or violence has torn apart... (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Poetry category:

Poetry can repair no loss, but it defies the space which separates. And it does this by its continual labour of reassembling what has been scattered. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Seeing category:

The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled. Each evening we see the sun set. We know that the earth is turning away from it. Yet the knowledge, the explanation, never quite fits the sight. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Solitude category:

Autobiography begins with a sense of being alone. It is an orphan form. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Travel category:

Ours is the century of enforced travel of disappearances. The century of people helplessly seeing others, who were close to them, disappear over the horizon. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Winning category:

The media network has its idols, but its principal idol is its own style which generates an aura of winning and leaves the rest in darkness. It recognizes neither pity nor pitilessness. (John Berger)

John Berger - From the Words category:

Today the discredit of words is very great. (John Berger)

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Last modified: November 25, 2015