The female nude is a genre deeply rooted in Western art history where there is a prevalent dichotomy marked by the semantic distinction between the concept of "nude" as an act of artistic representation and the carnal, bare "naked". The feminist revolution, however, objected to this very distinction, challenged the ethical legitimacy of the genre and posed the male passion to consume the naked female body as its latent patriarchal motivation.
Israeli art in the first decade of the 2000s has revealed nude as a dominant genre. The exhibition sets out to present an inkling of this surge of female nude representations, focusing on those created by men—a site which quintessentially represents the ethical problem inherent in it.
What depth currents have given rise to this trend, and what are the preconditions lending it visibility? How are we to read this eclectic cluster of representations? Do the works reproduce and duplicate demeaning patriarchal representations, or do they succeed in demanding a different mode of observation? How are these works related to pornography? What is their status in a society which consumes images of naked women on a regular basis? Can there be a feminist reading of these works?
Rather than introducing a schematic repertoire of answers, a readymade menu of arguments and counterarguments, the exhibition aims to propose guidelines for a possible discussion, inviting viewers to take part in it and make up their own opinions and modes of observation in this controversial field.