Art (Fine arts, Performing arts)
https://youtu.be/0pDE4VX_9Kk . John Berger “Ways of Seeing” Episode 1
https://youtu.be/m1GI8mNU5Sg .John Berger “Ways of Seeing” Episode 2
https://youtu.be/Z7wi8jd7aC4 . John Berger “Ways of Seeing” Episode 3
https://youtu.be/xhOVdoMxYxU . John Berger “Ways of Seeing” Episode 4
You are required to complete 4 response papers throughout the semester. These papers might address the cinematographic techniques, set, plot etc. of the film itself, or it may address a particular aspect of the film, the characters, historical figures, events or artworks discussed. Each observation or statement should be supported by an example from the movie itself.
Minimum word count: 500
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Woman in the Dunes
Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present
The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari
Response papers never summarize.
Response papers are written from the first person point of view, which simply means that you can and should use phrases such as “I thought” and “I believe” when reviewing. You can think of a response paper as a review that is part analysis and a reflection on personal impact.
The steps for completing a reaction or response paper are:
Observe/watch/read the piece for an initial understanding
Look at the artwork/watch the movie/read the text that you are discussing and stop to reflect often
Record your thoughts and impressions in your notes
Develop a thesis
Write an outline
Construct your essay
Look/watch and Respond
In a response paper, you assess the item you’ve been assigned to observe, using the concepts and vocabulary that you have learned in class. However, you also add your personal reaction and impressions to the text.
Do not summarize plot points or key developments in whatever you see/read. Be critical. Look beneath the surface, and try to discover the mechanisms by which the image/film/text operates. Ask yourself:
Why do elements unfold the way they do, beyond what’s shown? Why did the author/artist/director structure things a certain way?
How does what you’re seeing compare and contrast with other, similar texts/images/films? How do the elements of what you’ve just consumed relate to the real world outside the text/film/image?
Draw up an outline.
This is especially helpful if you have trouble actually committing your thoughts to paper and find that your essays tend to meander.
• Create broad plans for your work before you actually start writing.
• Figure out what you want each paragraph to do.
• Ensure that every section in your paper has a place and
contributes to your overall argument as established in step three.
• You want to avoid extraneous writing as much as possible; not only does it waste your time, it risks diverting your readers’ attention.
• A good basic form is the 5-paragraph response: one introductory paragraph laying out the goal of your argument, three body paragraphs dedicated to evidence supporting your argument (one main idea per paragraph) and one concluding paragraph that sums up your major points and in the end pushes your argument just a bit more forward, perhaps by bringing to light one additional point not discussed in your response’s body.
The First Paragraph
• Once you have established an outline for your paper, you’ll need to craft an essay using the basic elements of every strong essay, including a strong introductory sentence.
• In the case of a response paper, the first sentence should contain the title of the object to which you are responding and the name of the author, artist or director.
• The last sentence of your introductory paragraph should contain a thesis statement.
• Don’t write the biography of the author/artist/director, but do (if you know) mention the movement to which he or she belonged and situate the particular work of art within their body of work.
• Lastly, describe several aspects of the film or artwork that will constitute the subject of your analysis.
Art Response Essay Paragraphs
• The text should be composed of, preferably, three distinct paragraphs, each of them discussing your impressions and thoughts relating to the work of art in question.
• In order to account for the distinct aspects of all discussed problems, paragraphs can be written in different styles, which will enrich all statements and make the essay a genuinely reflective piece of writing.
Stating Your Opinion
You should include your opinions in this paper, stopping often to reflect about what is causing certain reactions and how you have formed these opinions. It is important to support your opinions with your observations and visual/textual analysis. In other words, every time you state an opinion it should be supported by something you have read or actually see in the work, and concepts from class.
You’ve got something unique and interesting to say about what you just read. Now you have to tell your audience why it’s unique and interesting. Your argument forms the heart of your paper. Take all the observations you made in step two and forge the ones that most compellingly work together into a pointed claim. Why are your observations correct, and why do they matter?
I felt that…
In my opinion…
The reader can conclude that…
The director seems to…
I did not like…
The images seemed to…
The artist was [was not] successful in making me feel… I was especially moved by…
I didn’t get the connection between…
It was clear that the artist was trying to… The sound track seemed too…
My favorite part was…because…
A thesis hypothesizes an argument that will need to be proved. It is not a self-evident statement about the artwork. Developing a good thesis takes critical thought and is an essential step in your assignment.
What concepts can you associate with the text/film/artwork? What is its tone? What can you glean from it by reflecting on its visual qualities, its narrative qualities? Work with adjectives, which describe tone, or abstract nouns, which express concepts.
A poorly crafted thesis demonstrates inadequate critical thought and effort on the student’s part, and your grade will reflect this.
Brainstorm a list of tones (adjectives) and/or concepts (abstract nouns).
Choose three qualities of the work’s tone [i.e. angry] or three concepts [i.e. liberty] you would like to work with from the list above.
Craft your one-sentence thesis statement using the formula below. Remember to use parallel structure (a list of adjectives or a list of nouns) when writing your thesis.
The film conveys (1), (2), and (3).
The film conveys feelings of loneliness, solitude, and joy.
The artwork promotes ideas of (1), (2), and (3).
The sculpture inspires patriotism, liberty, and independence.
Modes of Analysis
Consider whether any of the following ways of analyzing an artwork can be applied to the subject of your assignment:
• Content: Does the work clearly depict objects or people as we would recognize them in the world around us (is it representational)? Alternatively, is its subject matter completely unrecognizable (is it non-objective)? To what degree has the artist simplified, emphasized, or distorted aspects of forms in the work (or abstracted it)? Is there a clear narrative unfolding?
• Iconographic analysis: Are there things in the work that you can interpret as signs or symbols? For example, is there anything that suggests a religious meaning, or indicates the social status of somebody depicted in the work? Labels often provide good information about iconography.
• Biographical analysis: What does the text/film/image tell you about the life of the artist? Is it meant to reveal personal experiences?
• Feminist analysis: Is the role of women in the text/film/artwork important? Is there commentary on the experience of women in society? Is the artist/director a woman?
• Contextual analysis: What does the text/film/image tell you about the history of the era in which it was created, or about religious, political, economic, and social issues that influenced its creation? Does it represent any political option? Has it fulfilled any historical role since it was first shown/exhibited publicly?
If argument forms the backbone of your paper, visual details are the meat. Make sure you can back up any and all of your assertions with visual evidence from the artwork or film and any outside sources that you care to include. Keep an eye on the economy of your language, avoid repetition, very short sentences and curtail flowery word usage that doesn’t say anything new or specific.
Response Paper on Art Conclusion
• A response essay should contain a short summary, as well as restatement, of all points comprised in your argumentation.
• It should account for general impressions and thoughts connected with the work, text, or movie and an estimation of its historical importance.
• The conclusion can also focus on the question of its relevance with respect to contemporary styles and movements.
Rewrite, Edit, and Proofread Your Paper
Again, this one seems obvious, but it bears stating. Have you heard the phrase ‘writing is rewriting?’ That’s what this means. Read over your paper, making sure everything flows like you intend it to and that you provide sufficient support for the argument you’re making. Check for basic errors like spelling and grammar mistakes as well as more content-based issues like ill-explained terms or flimsy points.
Read your text aloud to identify awkward sentences and misplaced punctuation. Be sure to avoid repeating the same word or phrase throughout the text, use a thesaurus and play with your sentence
structure to avoid this. Adjust as necessary, turn in your response and repeat. These six steps should give you a simple framework by which to craft great response papers in the future.
Basic Writing Tips
All titles of artworks/films should be italicized. All book titles should be underlined.
You should only use contractions when absolutely necessary, ie., when describing possession or for rhythm.
• Cite sources, regardless of if you are using the author’s words or not, you must give them credit for their ideas.
• Refer to an artist by their first and last names or by their last name only. We do not refer to the artist by their first name only.
• Use gender inclusive language, avoid assuming your reader is male (see A Short guide to Writing About Art, by Sylvan Barnet, for more on this).
• Avoid slang or conversational language (this is a revision note, it is best to write however your language flows best and to then return (often with a thesaurus) and correct the language, this is also true for contractions).
Referring to a work of art:
Piece (widely used)
Work (widely used)
The “artwork,” or this “work of art” (should only use once or twice in an
essay, it is best to refer specifically to the content or medium). Rendering of (2D)
Image (Usually refers to 2D, although technically it includes 3D) Portrayal of
Content: portrait, still life, landscape, cityscape, interior, exterior, etc.
Medium: relief, drawing, painting, sculpture, carving, print, watercolor, installation, photograph, etc.
Avoid referring to the piece as “the art” or “this art”