Wednesday, February 11, 2015

On the Need for Aesthetic Realism at the UN

This past summer, photographer and Aesthetic Realism associate Len Bernstein delivered the keynote speech in New York City at the 2014 International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in the USA at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Croatia to the UN." 
Titled "The Potential for American Art and Culture in Transcending Cultural Barriers, Mr. Bernstein's speech gave powerful evidence for the fact that, in his words,
"A good photograph, like every work of art, shows that opposites don't have to fight, that the world and the things in it have a structure of opposites that makes sense, is even beautiful. That is why the world can honestly be liked, which Aesthetic Realism explains is every person's deepest desire--no matter what culture he or she is from, no matter the color of one's skin."

Citizens of every nation, particularly those that are warring, need to see that the deepest desire of people in other nations is like theirs -- to like the world.  Furthermore, the UN urgently needs to learn from how Aesthetic Realism sees beauty, and the relation of beauty and life.  This is resplendently clear in every presentation at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation, and it is clear and moving in Len Bernstein's address.   

In his talk he discusses several of his own works, including this magnificent photograph (below) titled "We Share a Dream."   
It was taken after the 1983 March on Washington for Jobs Peace and Freedom, which celebrated the twentieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

Minding Baby, by Jacob Riis
Following this, he takes up works by Jacob Riis, Edward Weston, and Edward S. Curtis. Throughout, including through a moving discussion and photograph about his own father, he shows that art literally has the justice that we need in our personal lives with the people we are closest to, and that the world itself desperately need if the cruelties of racism and war are to be defeated. 

Len Bernstein shows that Aesthetic Realism, which Eli Siegel once referred to as the "organization of kindness" is the education that can bring real civilization to every individual, every nation and between nations and people of different religions and ethnicity.