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New Stage
חיפוש בבמה

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מדורי במה








Notes on the Exhibition Omer Industrial Park - March 97

In a reality containing infinity of dimensions, humanity is
found in two of them, the spiritual and the tangible. These
dimensions also contain an infinity amount of data, but
mankind is found only within the framework of a very limited
range. (Think about the spectrum of light rays which, we
humans can discern as compared to the infinity of light rays
found in nature.) Whatever man may think, feel, express,
dream, construct instruments to broaden our knowledge and
thought, experience mystic connections, etc., will always
remain within the framework of these two dimensions. The
curtain can be pushed aside slightly but the infinite always
remains ahead of humanity beckoning like a country which,
can never be reached. It carries within it the same limiting
human barriers which in one way delimit and in another serve
as protective barriers against the invasion of the infinite
which will lead to its destruction. I did not originate
these ideas. They are taken from Baruch Spinoza. He presents
them at great depth and we only have to leaf through his
pages to find them.

Since I associate my work, to a certain degree, with the
Romantic's movement, I feel obliged to give a little
historical background. With the Industrial Revolution, and
all the changes that it brought about, the followers of the
Romantic movement found themselves in conflict with the
adherents of the Enlightenment that had come into being out
of the belief that an educated person will, of necessity, be
a better person. Both movements saw the results of the
industrial revolution, the human and environmental
casualties it brought about, as well as the naive,
uneducated past, as being black. They looked forward to a
brighter future in which education would elevate mankind to
the level of the gods. However, at the same time they feared
the separation from nature and from the feeling of infinite
wholeness that the enlightenment, and the industrial
revolution in its wake, had brought about.

They feared for the future.

They yearned for that same infinite wholeness which
primitive, innocent mankind had possessed. One of the
milestones of this school of thought is Schiller's work, "On
Naive and Sentimental Poetry."

Both schools discovered Spinoza who speaks of achieving
freedom through the intellect; of the "infinite" being the
substance and the substance being the "infinite." Namely,
reality is an infinite wholeness and there is nothing
outside of it. The degree of human ethics is dependent on
the degree to which reality is understood. Spinoza spoke of
three levels of awareness:

1. Individual awareness: its characteristics being that it
is both subjectively and sensuously passive. This is due to
its being a basic and innate awareness.

2. Intellectual awareness: This is an acquired awareness.
The result of learning activities, and it is, therefore,
active and critical. This awareness is scientific and
engages in understanding immutable laws.

3. Intuitive awareness: This is also an acquired awareness.
The individual's awareness of his or her purpose in the
totality of the infinite. This is a direct perception, a
kind of internal comprehension that not only is the all
dependent on the whole, but that any specific individual is
dependent on the whole and the whole is dependent on him or
her. In other words, understanding the individual matter
caught in its logically imperative eternal place, above
time. And from here, the perception of the totality as a
whole.

Perhaps things would not have changed if not for the
revolution which science and modern technology has brought
about in and to our lives. Less than a hundred years ago all
of these ideas and thoughts were the property of only the
few. Today, we can all sit in front of our television
screens, and if we are not being fed rating shows we stand a
good chance of viewing scenes that reach us from space, or a
historical analysis of a revolution, or perhaps a
fascinating trip through our bodies, and many other
interesting and educational things. But, the point is that
the infinite is no longer only the province of the religious
person, or an idea for a philosopher, outside of the common
man's grasp. The infinite penetrates the all of our
consciousness since we are nurtured by an infinite amount of
data wherever we turn. The planet Earth has indeed shrunk,
but our world has expanded. The feelings of the individual
within the infinite totality are no longer a matter of
belief or a philosophical idea, they are now anchored in
concrete thought. However, the question still remains of
whether man, within the framework of the limitations I
previously mentioned, is capable of understanding, thinking
of, or perceiving the infinite? Since it is clear that
humanity is not able to think in terms of the infinite.

My personal opinion is that for this question as well, the
answer is, no (I highly recommend the book, Flatland). If,
according to Spinoza, the infinite is the whole and the
total substance, humanity's world is dual. It moves on a
linear continuum between two poles: good and bad, black and
white, spiritual and material. Mankind uses the same duality
to deal with concepts such as: time, order and chaos, space
and substance, etc.

My work fits in at just this juncture. The same meeting
between with an infinite reality whose shadows we construct
into a reality, which of itself, is infinite, and this with
the weak and ineffectual tools we have at our command,
mainly linear thought. And since I am occupied by the
thought of that same meeting between the infinite reality
and a humanity equipped with such problematic tools for
confronting this reality, my work, therefore, revolves
around two main areas:

1. Attempts to understand reality through the plastic arts.

2. Expressing humanity's shortcomings in terms of
understanding reality.

If the sand dune is reality, as a plastic artist speaking of
the human limitations in seeing reality as a whole, I create
a work, which appears to be a spy-hole, or a disassembled
puzzle with parts missing. But, more than anything else, and
significantly more than all the other elements I use, is the
line. As a human being this is my plastic representative; I
use it to confront vistas of infinite scenery, which, from
my point of view, represent reality. The line, which is a
philosophical entity, is me. My reality as a person is woven
with its aid, and the line is also the entity, which erects
the barriers excluding a whole reality on the other side.
Since I live and create in my own time, I am amazed by both
landscape surrounding me and by humankind's achievements. I
am, of course, aware of evil, but I am also aware of the
magnitude of human spirit and thought. I cannot but seek out
those who are called scientists, and glean crumbs of
information, concepts and comprehension, in order to
assemble my puzzle of reality for myself. Therefore, by
employing that same line, which I have already said is my
human representation on the canvas, I find myself building
realities that reflect both from within and by virtue of
concepts I have received from those who are engaged in
science. I construct paintings of infinite sand dunes from
one item of a diagram emitted by an electronic instrument,
and play with it according to the principal of quantity and
timing. I build one dune after the other, depending on how
long I want to continue the game, out of a diagram that had
no connection with sand. The dunes are similar to one
another, but at the same time each one is unique. Since all
is all, and this all with all its details and shades is a
product of timing and quantity. Just as we, humankind, are
separated from all the other created creatures, including
trees and flowers, by only our genetic quantity and timing.

Another diagram is sometimes used as a base for constructing
desert scenes or at times stormy or serene seascapes,
depending on how they are presented and the associative
context. Since, as I have already said, reality is infinite,
that which we think is infinite is dependent on our own
minds.

I have not yet spoken of the problem which has begun to
engage contemporary artists, and which will continue to
engage those who come after us to an even greater degree.
This problem is raised in my work as well, if in a covert
fashion. If Magrith asked where the reality lay in mounting
a picture as part of the scenery seen from the window, I
present a landscape whose base is no more than posed section
of a diagram of a manmade tool built for completely
different products. Despite the fact that I do not yet even
know how to ask all the right questions, some of them still
persist in being raised. Is this an imagined reality? To
what degree does it converge with reality itself? What is
reality?

We human beings with a nervous system that absorbs data
according to the principle of all or nothing at all, build
instruments that operate according to the principle of yes
and no.

We adjust them according to a specific sensitivity scale
(otherwise we get white noise) to bring us a specific datum
in the form of a diagram, from which we then build the
"reality" with which we wrap our world.

I must emphasize that despite concepts such as fractal
structures and Euclidean geometry, and questions such as:
What is space? Is it substance? What is substance? Is it
space? Is time continuous? Perhaps the source, direction and
partitions in time stem humankind. These questions sometimes
play an important part in my work, and despite the fact that
I make use of and go to great lengths to understand
scientific concepts to serve my art, at heart I am still a
romantic. Not a romantic from the Romantic Period, yearning
for a humanity still in the stage of personal awareness. I
also am not so anxious to meet humanity at the stage of
intellectual awareness. That is a dangerous stage, but
necessary for humankind to pass on to the stage of intuitive
awareness. The same holds true for the individual as it does
for historical periods and publics. In the world of art
where they still like to make use of all kinds of words
ending in "ism," levels of human understanding are
categorized by concepts such as, pre-modernism, modernism,
and post modernism.

I especially like the saying from Confucius, "...to an
ignorant person a mountain is a mountain, a valley is a
valley, and a river is a river. To an educated person a
mountain is not a mountain, a valley is not a valley, and a
river is not a river. To a superior person a mountain is
once again a mountain, a valley is once again a valley, and
a river is once again a river..." The more I think about it
the more wisdom I find in it, and to one degree or another
it serves me as a touchstone. Since, as much as humanity
will extend itself to wander in the infinite spaces, they
will always return to themselves. And I must add, the
further afield human beings wander, the better people they
will be when they return to themselves. Therefore, this
saying opens the exhibition.  
 
Yona L-G







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בבמה מאז 15/12/03 16:12
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