The affinity to God passes through the proximity to nature
“When God created Adam, God led him around all of the trees in the Garden of Eden, God told him”, See how beautiful and praiseworthy all of my works are. Everything I have created for your sake. Think of this and do not corrupt the world; for if you corrupt it, there will be no one to set it right after you”1). This Midrash presents the personal responsibility of every human being for the fate of the creation. The good will and morality could set right the world we live in, the repair (Tikun) is in our hands. “World, in a dual meaning: the world of the family of man (including its races, members and friends, as well as its tribes) and the cosmos. The value-oriented concept “Tikun” (“repair”) is found here implicitly, in a form of the verb Letaken (t. k. n.), whereby setting the world right and uplifting it is the task and destination of man”2). Also the opposite of this, namely destruction, exploitation or the ruin of the world is in our hands as well. Ethics seeks to contain knowledge, and Kant presents an a priori connection to the values of beauty and esthetics, hence to nature and ethics. “He who shall be able to see well the things as they are – shall see the sign of unity in all 3).
The beautiful is the symbol of the ethical good (4. Spinoza too believes that the same divine element in man’s spirit, namely the mind, is the only one capable of guiding man to lead a moral life according to virtue. “It would be in fact impossible to envisage a feeling about the sublime in nature without intertwining it with a state of mind resembling the ethical sentiment” 5) In the “ethical world”, “all people were happy” 6). Consequently, we are to hope that the rules of morality shall operate and make a hope come true in this world of ours. Take action so that your deeds may be in accord with the realm of possible purposes. This realm of purposes is the highest-level ultimate goal. The realm of purposes should be equated with the idea of “the ethical world” 7 ).
- Ecclesiastes Rabbah, 7, 13.
- Anselm Kiefer, Tel Aviv Museum; Mordechai Omer, 2001, p. 14.
- (In Hebrew): Dialogue with God, Union Mystique in the Philosophy of Shlomo Ibn Gevirol and Johannes Scotus Erigena, by Idit Shaked, Resling Publishing Company, page 262.
- (In Hebrew): Critique of Judgment, pg. 165.
- (In Hebrew): Ethics, Spinoza and Nietzsche, by Shay Sprugel, Carmel Publishing Company, pp. 214-217.
- (In Hebrew): The Philosophy of Immanuel Kant, by Shmuel Hugo Bergman, Magnes Press, the year 5763 (2003), p. 84.
- (In Hebrew): The Philosophy of Immanuel Kant, by Shmuel Hugo Bergman, Magnes Press, the year 5763 (2003), p. 93.
We are witnesses to an absolute nature between the moral time of man and the collapse of culture, in which the commodity is a product of totalization. Hyper-Market finds its way to the spaces, where mountains of commodities represent the vestiges of our culture’s luxuries and constitute an impact of economic impulses. A cosmic esthetic calamity (in Kant’s view) – for which reason we have to characterize anew the interaction between art, wisdom and reality, as well as to create a new artistic-philosophical language.
I think it is time that ecological post-modern art started creating positive effects and met the real practice of the people exercising their freedom. I wish to present, in a personal language transcending national times and borders, the theology of the eco-art thus calling for sensible, well thought out use of the existing material, for activism, for community sharing and for globalization. It is through sensible well-contemplated use of archetypes and collective knowledge that the rationale will produce temporary esthetic and emotional values that will operate on universal dimensions and tighten the romantic exotic connection to nature.
My goal, as ecological artist and curator, is to arouse awareness of the environment, to offer an esthetic approach to an art carrying values, to bring about the rise of forgotten, hidden lights of hope for the human family as a whole, as well as to arouse the beholder’s yearning for sublime nature. Symbiosis between man and nature could be not just a utopia with a view to wonderful life, in which mortality is the correct, the natural, the beautiful; this normal life is perhaps the paradise we dream of, because we are fishermen, who relentlessly stand, as we keep on digging the mother earth and depositing in it whatever is unnecessary for us.
The discussion of culture in the post-modern era seeks to embrace values drawn from a daily walk of life, abstract ideals, norms, laws and principles. The products express the meanings of an order, but also of social changes and values. As an integral part of formative processes, the rational contemplation will lead the visitors to a philosophical journey, to an encounter between the rationale and the deep emotional intention, and it is in its course that a new understanding will be constructed concerning the interrelations between man and nature. The viewer is left with the possibility of assimilating the messages and reordering the understanding.
At the fifth Zionist Congress in Basel Buber asserted: “that the role of Jewish art is to provide value-oriented, esthetic education, to be a tool for self knowledge and to function as a cultural avant-garde for the people and for the world. To blossom and make our yearning for beauty and nature blossom… No longer just intellectualism, but experiential self expression. We have to use the heritage of the past as material. Art is important for Zionism as a tool educating about feelings for beauty. Nothing conveys the truth as well as art, and Jewish art will express – more than anything – our essence as Zionists, as Jews, as people. It bears testimony to our awakening. We will look at it closely, says Buber, and know ourselves” 8).
- (In Hebrew): The Story of Israeli Art, by Benyamin Tammuz, pg 15.
My art reflects the reality, in which nature is held as captive and taken advantage of, with men controlling it by force. “On the Road to Paradise” will be a point, a pause for thought.
It is my vision that the ecological art may lead to positive, continued, measurable global motivation and bring forth a voice of compassion, sharing and brotherhood. Our ancestors, who were farmers and tilled the land, knew well the nature of wood. How we are not to know?