An exhibit by Naomi Kramer
“Philosophy’s whole history is a warning against the assumption that there are permanent questions and final solutions. There is something arrogant and something unrealistic in demanding solutions, which shall be sufficient not merely for one time and place but forever.”
– Isaiah Berlin
The photographs in this exhibit were inspired by the commemorative services in Hiroshima and Nagasaki which took place in August 2005 to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the first and hopefully last resort to nuclear warfare. The title of the exhibit, “Under the Cloud” refers primarily to the mushroom clouds which cast a horrific eternal shadow over the people of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and indeed all of humankind. The exhibit also reflects the photographer’s belief that apart from a nuclear threat humanity continues to persevere under the clouds of conventional warfare, genocide, poverty, and the insidious destruction of the environment. The photographs reflect man’s capacity for annihilation while conveying a measure of hope in the resiliency and perseverance of human endeavour.
The ability to endure is poignantly reflected by “Desert Life” a photo taken in Israel of an Acacia tree, which has survived for over two thousand years in spite of inhospitable surroundings. Again, the photograph of the “Pink Church” taken in the Galilee is a comment on the perseverance of faith in a land, which has absorbed far too much blood in the name of religious primacy. Several photographs: including “Bamboo Circuitry,” “Byzantine Church,” and “Bark” explore the role that perspective plays in our understanding of world events. Finally, the file of young Israeli soldiers in the Herzl Cemetery reminds us that the promise of the future as represented by youth is overshadowed by the cloud of war and the tenacity of historic grievances.
“Recently, I decided to take a markedly different approach to public education and to make use of the information that lies on the edge of our cultural literacy-that is, events the general public may have heard of but are not thoroughly familiar with. Using the medium of photography, I am able to encourage the viewer to slip from the the metaphorical to the factual and back again with what I hope will bea disarming fluency. This dissonance, I believe, is the key to successfully enticing a desire for knowledge. It is my hope that the exhibit “Under the Cloud” will attain this objective.