chapter  14
14 Pages

Where are we now? How do we look and what do we see?

WithJudith Edwards

John Berger, influential art critic, essayist and novelist died in January 2017. His friend the theatre director and actor Simon McBurney said, ‘Listener, grinder of lenses, poet, painter, seer. My Guide. Philosopher. Friend. John Berger left us this morning. Now you are everywhere.’ Berger insisted that observation was key to the project of ‘seeing’ truly. – Are we there now? Are these ideas indeed ‘everywhere’? In this final chapter this view is examined in the light of current developments in observation, in the psychoanalytic field, also reaching out to other disciplines to make closer links. Observations from students about the observation process are used, as well as a moving piece of observation of an old lady with dementia. John Berger prided himself on being a ‘listener’ as well as an observer, listening with an ear for everything in the other, not only what was spoken, and it is hoped that we may indeed listen to one another in the service of moving forward across disciplinary lines, in the spirit of this whole book, of which this is the final chapter.