“People crave beauty. We want beauty — beauty that invites contemplation, beauty that provides enjoyment, beauty that makes people happy, beauty that feeds the soul.” The artists in this exhibition, members of PHOTO IS:RAEL’s community of photographers, aim to capture the beautiful and create images which elude any institutional mediation in order to connect directly and spontaneously with the viewer.
Throughout history, art was committed to beauty. “At any time between 1750 and 1930, if you had asked educated people to describe the aim of poetry, art or music, they would have replied, ‘beauty’. And if you had asked for the point of that, you would have learned that beauty is a value as important as ‘truth’ and ‘goodness’.” These are the opening words to British philosopher Roger Scruton’s documentary Why Beauty Matters?.
The artists in this exhibition, all members of PHOTO IS:RAEL’s community of photographers, aim to capture the beautiful and create images which elude any institutional mediation in order to connect directly and spontaneously with the viewer.
Scruton asserts that during the 20th century, the search for beauty in art lost its importance as artists gradually dedicated themselves instead to shocking audiences and undermining moral taboos. “It was not ‘beauty’, but ‘originality’, however achieved, and at whatever moral cost, that won the prizes. Art has turned its back on beauty and now we are surrounded by ugliness.”
“People crave beauty […] We want beauty — beauty that invites contemplation, beauty that provides enjoyment, beauty that makes people happy, beauty that feeds the soul,” writes Maria Brito in her article “Why Beauty Matters”.
But what is beauty? Does it follow any specific rules? Ruth Lorand, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Haifa, states that “the experience of beauty is imbued with a sense of order and necessity—a beautiful object creates the impression that its elements complement each other and are rightly situated.”
At its inception, the art of photography was also meant for the creation of beauty. Modern day photography has moved away from the “beautiful” towards the “challenging”, which turns art into a mystery which can only be unravelled with the aid of museums and academia.
Closing his film, Scruton remarks that “Just as those who lose their religion feel an urge to mock the faith they have lost, so do artists today feel an urge […] to mock the pursuit of beauty.”
Photo by: Varda Carmeli
Varda Carmeli | Moshe Gross | Matti Karp | Atalia Katz | Ze'ev Kirshenboim | Oran Lavon | Shira Mushkin | Jean R Mary| Jacqueline Telem | Eran Ben-Baruch Gotesmaan | Ido Halevy | maya iltus | Tallia Rosner | Maya Sharon | Aviv Shilo