Reflection paper

A reflection paper is NOT a research paper. You should use your own ideas to reflect upon the materials from the learning unit. Use the information in the learning unit to do the following:

In his essay, John Berger writes that the past is mystified because, for one reason, “history always constitutes the relation between a present and its past.” Berger continues his discussion by examining the “convention of perspective” which allows the viewer of art to become its sole interpreter. Of course, the camera has changed the way we view art; it allows us to see other “things” that are not immediately present in a museum. In both Unit 4.1 and Unit 4.2, the idea of other “things” seem to be the subject of the readings and films. For instance:

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In Unit 4.1, artists are in conversation with each other. Authors and songwriters provide words for famous paintings. The words that are provided, however, often reference what is absent from the painting. For instance, Oates provides a back story for the people in the painting, Waits creates a song that is inspired by the diner, and Ashbery reads into the portrait a landscape/setting, history, and motivation for the artist-as-subject.

In Unit 4.2, both films create a reality that is not possible in the “real world.” In Six Characters, fictional characters live out a story that hasn’t been written. In La Moustache, the main character’s world is turned upside down because his memory and his reality exist in conflict – in fact, the viewer may even question what is “true” in that film.

For this reflection paper, you will interpret a selection from 4.1 and 4.2 by doing what the poets do: Choose one painting from 4.1 and one film from 4.2. Then, work to create meaning for the selection by discussing something that is seemingly absent from it. For example: What’s missing from the painting that you think is important and what might Berger say about that? Or, What’s missing from the reality of the film (or the perceived reality of the film) that is important to understanding it and what might Berger suggest about the way we’re “reading” the film? Be careful when analyzing the painting; you can not just explain what the poet or the learning unit said about the painting. You need to create your own, unique interpretation.

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