Rose’s analysis of culture, visual art, and the two combined, allows us to think about the boundaries of how we examine and interpret the sensory world around us. I thought it was very interesting how she referred to Berger’s paintings of nude women. Berger considers the audience to have control over what they are viewing, yet Rose also illuminates that Berger’s point of view in creating the painting is equally as important as those who view it. This point of view reminded me of the concept of the “male gaze.” This concept is the idea that women are depicted in the world from a masculine, heterosexual view. This “gaze” gains momentum in that those who view products of the gaze evaluate these depictions as norms and will them further perpetuate these ideas, concepts, images, stereotypes, etc. This endless cycle can be used to look at any kind of stereotype about sex, gender, race, nationality, etc. Although I might be looking at a piece of art from my own perspective, one must remember that through a certain perspective this painting was created and further, the creator’s perspective has been shaped by other perspectives and cultural patterns.
This article reminds me of a research project I did in high school that evaluated an ad from the 1950s. I looked at an Elizabeth Arden makeup ad that very subtly depicted the importance of beauty over knowledge in a college setting. While analyzing the ad, I had to think about the time period, the recent events taking place in America, who designed the ad, who the audience was for the ad, the cultural norms relating to women at the time, the mediums of art of the time, etc. While reading this article, I often thought of this research project and the way in which Rose provides great insight about culture as a more complex definition than we have perceived.
Another really wild thought that Rose brings up is the idea that we are constantly viewing perspectives other than our own and this practice has become a norm. She calls this “simulacrum” and displays how, with time, an object that is being viewed gets more and more unconnected from the “real world.” For example, virtual reality or the simulation of New York in New York. I would question if these kinds of visuals are actually moving away from reality or if the means by which we produce these visuals is getting harder to understand. For example, with this kind of art, it is suddenly harder to pinpoint who created this medium and what the creator intended the audience to see.