The Story of Looking is a book that chronicles changes in imagery through the centuries, from painting and sculpture, to cinematography and modern art forms. It comments on science and propaganda, and the ability of mankind to refuse to look and see what it does not wish to accept. It discusses our propensity to change the way we construct what we see by the way we look at things.
Mark Cousins has produced a fascinating book which documents the various elements involved in developing the skill to look back through time. He has produced an illustrated and well-crafted, easy-to-read exploration of looking through historical, scientific, artistic, psychological and cultural lenses.
Looking, and its various emotional impacts and intents, contrasted with and complimented by our physical and cultural development, is commented upon whilst accompanied with images that invoke their own personal reactions. These personal reactions are shown to be defining aspects in our own identities.
This book is one that will amuse, confront, confirm and delight depending on your mood. It is well worth taking the time to explore and digest as it will change the way that you look at and understand your perspective on your world.
Reviewed by Leanne Caune
Rating out of 10: 8
Distributed by: Allen & Unwin
Released: December 2017
RRP: $ 49.99 hardcover