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Sharon Poliakine (2)

The Face of the Other, 2002/2004, Israel

34 works, oil on canvas 30x40 cm

The encounter with the face of the other awakens moral consciousness. Not only does the face inform us by the presence of a fellow being in our world, it communicates the frailty, the vulnerability of the other, and induces us to respect this vulnerability and to refrain from doing harm or violence to the other. Since I did not bring the face of the other into my world picture, I am obliged to leave it there in its autonomous alterity. Yet the very existence of an other in the world, proves to me that I am not alone and thus I can not ignore my relation to the other. The encounter with face makes me receptive to the other's alterity. Alterity elicits not a sense of distance but of closeness, perceived as openness to the other. Face to face proximity activates in me and perpetuates my responsibility for my fellow being.

Emanuel Levinas