Niklas Maak's Tribute to John Berger
"On a desk in the back are Berger’s drawings. He has been drawing his whole life, even before he wrote the works that made him famous – before he taught a whole nation how to look at art on British radio and television shows such as Ways of Seeing. There, he proved that Picasso, Léger, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Modigliani, Courbet, Matisse, Goya, and Velázquez can be discussed in a way that is both intelligent and accessible.
These programs showed Berger – an artist and critic who called himself a marxist – speaking about how the motifs of Renaissance art reappear in the advertisements of our time, how images manipulate our consciousness. He was able to talk about Stone Age works, and the Stone Age man’s view of his world – a world of animals where humans were the exception. Behind this ancient horizon lay another world, in which even less people and more animals lived. He was able to describe the smell of this world in a way that instantly collapsed the millennia-wide gap between it and us. He then drove a sports car and – while occasionally turning around to the camera – explained acceleration-friendly classical modernism to his viewers from the quasi-center of motion."