Coexistence is more than a concept and more than a popular idea for our new global culture. It involves changing our lives and changing the way we think. Coexistence is not necessarily learning to live together but perhaps learning to live side by side.
Many of us hope for peaceful existence but unfortunately there is still daily violence and terrorism against innocent people in many corners of this world.
Extremes of poverty and wealth exist side by side with a great division between them and hostility and suspicion are growing on the other side of the fences that people have built. We would do well to learn to support each other instead of weakening one another and to learn to understand the differences between us and to appreciate and value these differences.
What is happening today in various parts of the world is a cycle that cannot be broken without brave and inspired leaders who must solve the problems with generosity, mutual understanding and non-violent thinking. What we need today in many places is more consideration, kindness, modesty and love.
We are not better, we are different from each other. We cannot continue to educate future generations with a misunderstanding that is based in difference. We cannot allow the misunderstandings to triumph over the insight and compassion within us. We have to hope and to act, each of us and all of us together.
Everyone, in his own way, should think about how we can make a contribution. Small but meaningful, to the message that all people are equal and responsible for each other.
I want to believe that this exhibition will serve as a catalyst for positive thinking. That it will contribute positive energy to people who will be encouraged to act with restraint, understanding and thoughtfulness to others. Let us hope that our modest contribution to this effort will make a difference.
I have faith that the initiative we took upon ourselves will fulfill its mission and that art will make its contribution to the preservation of our society towards a betterment of human relations across the world and we can be the messengers of good will in this cause.
We may never know how much art contributes to public opinion and how it influences an individual's thoughts. This exhibition intends to highlight in a creative way the art of living together. Here we see art as a language with no boundaries. It is therefore, universal and it speaks to all ages, religions and nationalities.
The Museum on the Seam in Jerusalem , supported by the von Holtzbrinck family, initiated this exhibition by bringing artists together to express their feelings and desires to make a difference through art.
Today the exhibition is comprised of more than 50 works of art created by artists from all corners of the globe. These artists decided to make their contribution to the message that is so important and essential to us all. With their works they represent the family of man and all nations.
We hope that many cities will have the opportunity to host exhibition “Coexistence”. What fills our hearts today is the hope that all communities and all cities that invite coexistence to visit will take advantage of the exhibition to create a dialogue between their citizens. That this dialogue will lead to a gathering and drawing together of hearts. And that people will think again about their relations with their neighbors, with those who are different from them and with themselves.
Auckland, New Zealand
San Paulo, Brazil