In Fort Green. This reminds me that I need to check out the Audubon Mural Project up in Hamilton Heights, near JJA’s old home and burial sites.
John Berger has passed away at the age of 90. “Nothing in the nature around us is evil,” he wrote in one of his many essays. “This needs to be repeated since one of the human ways of talking oneself into inhuman acts is to cite the supposed cruelty of nature.”
I wrote this for JSTOR Daily. Berger’s art school classic Ways of Seeing should be regularly read and re-read. His New York Times obit has a fair synopsis of that project: he “burrowed into the sexism underpinning the tradition of the nude; the place of high art in an image-saturated modern world; the relationship between art and advertising; and, of particular importance to him as a voice of the British New Left, the way traditional oil painting celebrated wealth and materialism.”
Berger was occasionally too Marxist for me, but his critical stance was a necessary one and will be missed. In one of his collections, titled The Shape of A Pocket, he notes that “The pocket in question is a small pocket of resistance.” I’m glad to see a lot more people getting in there.