16/Feb/19 — ,

A Minimal Sampler of Catastrophic Events

Being that the fragile and uncertain nature of human life has been a recurrent theme in many cultures throughout history, certain current-day artistic trends have sought a more determined involvement in denouncing and transforming critical situations. The broad spectrum of what is now considered art allows a space for related disciplines such as photojournalism, pedagogy, sustainable development, and political activism.

Some artists have managed to configure new models of collective organization, transcending the conventional modes of artistic dissemination, in order to search for tangible changes in their political and social environment. In other cases they have been able to channel the cultural and material resources of the institutions dedicated to contemporary art towards the recovery of disaster zones, in clear defiance to usual distancing between high culture and broader sectors of the population. In this day and age there seems to be an ever increasing will towards action amidst a seemingly unending list of pending problems. In any case, it remains valid, indispensable even, to reflect about the meaning and reach of our strengths as a society and as a species. It is not possible to consider the role of art as privileged form of knowledge, if its practitioners avoid researching those very episodes of crisis that affect a growing number of people around the globe.