IX Theory and Practice of Catastrophe


Eduardo Abaroa

Art struggles with chaos, but it does so in order to render it sensory, even through the most charming character, the most enchanted landscape.
–Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari

There’s our catastrophe. In the bag. Once more and I’m off.
–A line from the character of the director in the play Catastrophe (1982) by Samuel Beckett.

The notion of a catastrophe implies change, crisis or a definitive disaster, after which something will never be the same again: an event of the greatest transcendence for life or the system to which it refers, since it means its inevitable and irreversible transformation. A wide variety of connotations emerges from this simple definitions, allowing us to address conjointly areas that are justifiably separated. We seek a multiplicity of themes and foci, an effect of dispersal.

In this symposium we have invited philosophers, artists, curators and writers to discuss the possibilities of an ancient, elusive term that has involved, at least since Aristotle, an element of the dramatic or the tragic –that to say, of the theatrical. The catastrophic is first and foremost imaginary. […]