Essays, Reviews


Pictures of an exhibition


Photography belongs to the youngest branch of the arts. For many years it has been deemed the craft of reproducing reality. Close scrutiny of the photographs and photographers of various periods yields obvious differences in approach to figure, light and color; different masters evidently have different eyes, visual perceptions and objectives.

The visual arts have become predominant in our age. Advanced technical instruments and elaborate capabilities are manifest throughout the world and outstanding photographs are evidence of them. These works often address human states of mind, such as happiness or sadness, alongside other concerns pertaining to life and nature.

The excellent Hungarian photographer Ivan Benda maintains the tradition and eternal values of art. In his photographs he strives to perpetuate individual mindsets as well as the landscape. He is a master craftsman of human nature: eyes, faces, legs, and everything that lies beyond them. He is an artistic guide to cities, streets, historical sites, forests, hills, and valleys. Through his photographs, Benda lures us into beautiful, faraway places, urging us to plunge into the deep well of history.

As Ambassador of Hungary I am very pleased to have been involved in staging Ivan Benda’s exhibition in Israel. I would Like to express my sincerest appreciation to Mrs. Ewa Lieber for realizing this project. I would also like to thank the Municipalityof Tel Aviv-Yafo, the Municipalityof Rishon Le’Zion, and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage of the Republicof Hungaryfor their generosity, which made it possible to bring the art of Ivan Benda from Hungaryto Israel.

Dr. János Hóvári

Ambassador of Hungaryin Israel


The photograph is what we see in it

Our understanding is its essence

Our delight its beauty

Our thrill its magic

Our profound scrutiny its quality


Embarking on a journey with Ivan Benda, we sail along with the wonders of the performing arts into the realms of our roots, towards a past that spawns a future. We draw nearer to scraps of Jewish history in Eastern Europe and to the eternal nature of our capital, Jerusalem. Man is generally at the center of these extraordinary compositions that fuse simplicity and intricacy; works that are typified by modest albeit highly powerful background or ambience and a unique combination of motion and standstill.

The Rishon Le’Zion Municipality, the Municipal Company and the Performing Arts Center are proud to collaborate with Bet Ariela, Tel-Aviv and with the Embassy of Hungary in Israel. Our heartfelt thanks to Mrs. Ewa Lieber, Director of Bet Ariela Cultural Center, to Dr. János Hóvári, Ambassador of Hungary in Israel, and of course, to photographer Iván Benda himself, for gracing us with this engaging show.

The exhibition will be on display at the Meir Nitzan Performing Arts Center Rishon Le’Zion as part of the Spring Festival during March-April 2003.


Ehud Gross

Director General

Rishon Le’Zion Cultural Center