Works of Infinite Correction, Stéphane Symons

Il me faut tout oublier.” These are the words that the Belgian artist Philippe Vandenberg wrote down or painted during the final years before his death, again and again, in charcoal on paper, or in oil on canvas. They are a violent outcry, an urgent command, an expression of distraught desire. But what exactly they so desperately seek to convey is hard to know for sure. There being, according to Umberto Eco, no “ars oblivionalis,” forgetting is after all no mental activity one can bring about at one’s own will or master step by step. (i) For Vandenberg, disappearance and annihilation are the objects of his longings, rather than any specific activity, thing, or situation that we could relate to or bring before our mental eye. Moreover, the formula “Il me faut tout oublier” is penned in such a way that it forces human language to confront its limits. Composed in a child’s handwriting, it presents language to us less as a medium of communication than as a visual entity with distinct material and physical qualities. The series recalls Cy Twombly’s work which, in the analysis of Roland Barthes, looks “as if it has been drawn by his left hand.” Vandenberg’s words, too, put on display “what is clumsy, embarrassed”; they can be called a type of “gaucherie”: they topple the language of high culture and society, so certain of its truths and proud of its merits. (ii)

In one of his essays, Vandenberg proclaims that he only “makes the next work to escape from the previous one.” (iii) For him “the creative process consists largely of destruction.” (iv) This brings Vandenberg in the company of the Swiss writer Robert Walser who, according to Walter Benjamin, wrote sentences that “make the reader forget the previous one” and the Afro-American jazz pianist Thelonious Monk who, in the words of Geoff Dyer, “played each note as though … every touch of his fingers on the keyboard was correcting an error and this touch in turn became an error to be corrected.”(v) The inseparability of creation and destruction could mean that, perhaps, such art matters less as a type of representation or presentation than as a type of neutralization – what in the jargon of academic philosophy is called negation. Such works of art are not expressive of an inner certainty on the part of the artist, such as, for instance, his or her fluent mastery of a specific genre or instrument, or the firm conviction that what he or she is saying truly matters. To the contrary, these works of infinite correction are born from a deeply felt and all-consuming sense of discomfort, either self-proclaimed by the artist (Vandenberg) or ascribed to him by a critic (Walser, Monk). Their makers, it seems, want to cancel out the world in its current state, so that we can at least all get a chance to start over. It would be wrong to assume that this call for a new beginning results from the adherence, either explicit or implicit, to a specific goal or ideal for improvement. What grants such work their expressive quality is not their ability to recast our surroundings in newer and better terms, let alone to present hitherto unknown truths about them, but their power to suspendour ties to those surroundings for the briefest of moments: a sudden and much needed release from all the pains and strains that make our world, for far too many among us, an uninhabitable place.

 

The Weather without Exception

 

But what good can we expect from such a canceling out? Why does Vandenberg insist that such “[a]rt comforts us. Art heals people”?(vi) And why have Walser’s characters, according to Benjamin, indeed “all been healed”? Why did we always feel that “at the heart of (Monk’s) tune was a beautiful melody that had come out back to front”?(vii) For the artists I am considering here, the process of healing can only originate in a unsparing rejection of what has caused the pain in the first place. In the introduction to her recent collection of essays, Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency, Olivia Laing draws attention to the connection that a specific type of artistic creation has to destruction. Framing this connection as a distinctly political and societal issue, she describes the years in which her texts were written as a succession of catastrophes: Brexit and Trump, Charlottesville and the Grenfell Tower, racist killings and the rise of political and moral conservatism. There is a by now worn out formula that defines a crisis so deep that all existing categories, be they political, moral, religious or epistemological, are deemed inadequate to usher forth a solution: the formula that the state of emergency has become the rule.(viii) “It was happening at such a rate,” writes Laing, “that thinking, the act of making sense, felt permanently balked. Every crisis, every catastrophe, every threat of nuclear war was instantly overridden by the next. There was no possibility of passing through coherent stages of emotion, let alone thinking about responses or alternatives.”(ix) In times of such radical upheaval, none of the artworks, novels and artists that are dealt with in Laing’s collection of essays, from Sally Rooney’s Normal People to Chris Kraus’s I Love Dick and from Jean-Michel Basquiat to David Hockney, can teach us any clear lessons, light the path ahead, incite a certain course of action, or, more simply perhaps, present us with scenes of unspoiled beauty. For Laing, such age-old artistic ambitions would not only be irrelevant and miscast but even improper as our world is faced with levels of complexity that defy easy solutions and momentary comfort. It is in the face of these political and social derelictions that she turns to artists who refuse to simply renew our trust in the society we built and, instead, grant us some time off from it: “What I wanted most, apart from a different timeline, was a different kind of time frame, in which it might be possible both to feel and to think, to process the intense emotional impact of the news and to consider how to react, perhaps even to imagine other ways of being.”(x)

If we seek a firmer grasp of the “different kind of time frame” that an artist can produce to feel and think through moments of deep crisis, it helps to first understand what he should not do. In Against Aesthetic Exceptionalism, the essay that provides the occasion for this reflection, Arne De Boever rejects the notion of the artist as a seer whose insight into the true state of the world would somehow be more accurate and profound than that of other mortals: “Briefly put, aesthetic exceptionalism names the belief … that art and artists are exceptional. … This line of questioning will focus on the sovereign figure of the artist as genius.”(xi) De Boever builds on Carl Schmitt’s insight that modern power is defined by the authority to proclaim the state of exception and thereby restore order. In that view, the modern sovereign ruler is the only person who can decide that a crisis is so threatening that all normal legislation should be suspended and replaced by emergency laws. For Schmitt, the modern sovereign ruler thus incarnates the sole force that remains untouched by a chaos that jeopardizes the survival of the polity as such: stepping in where every other political or juridical category fails, the modern sovereign’s judgments and decisions are deemed absolute.

Schmitt’s account of modern sovereignty is part of a political theology since, in his view, “(a)ll significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts.”(xii) This means that, on account of the absolute powers that are granted to him (the argument is deeply androcentric), the modern sovereign ruler should be considered the heir of a type of transcendence that, in a premodern, religious context, was derived from God. De Boever takes issue with the belief that, in today’s world, fraught by political and ideological polarization, it is the artistwho has retained such a space of uninhibited thought and decisiveness. In such a view, artistic creation and aesthetic perception are marked by the unrestrained freedom and insight that can help us come to terms with moments of distress. Like Schmitt’s sovereign ruler, the artist is all too often believed to have qualities that somehow surpass the limits of other human beings. This, for its part, grants him a clearer view of the world’s shortcomings and might even strengthen him against some of its pitfalls. There is a great risk to the idea that, in the end, the position and activity of the artist are capable of withstanding the challenges and upheavals of society. In De Boever’s view, such illusions are symptomatic of an underlying skepticism about the capacities of “normal” human beings and the merits of democracy, and perhaps even of an obscure longing for an authoritarian ruler: “The unreflexive attachment to an exceptionalist politics-of-art-that-suspends often risk(s) being a secret promotional campaign … for the Schmittian politics of the state of exception.”(xiii)

 

Against Symbolic Exceptionalism

 

When the artist’s judgment and creativity are credited with nearly superhuman capacities, the danger of an aesthetic theology comes near. One could say that the artwork thus becomes the false pre-allocation of a supposed eternal truth, infallible judgment, or absolute wisdom. Rather than pointing to a concrete situation as something that can be changed, or inviting active engagement on the part of the viewer, such an artwork aspires to the status of a symbol (a term that is as deeply implicated in theological thought as sovereignty is, and that this section will develop to reframe De Boever’s critique of aesthetic exceptionalism): it presents itself as an entity that is “complete in itself” and seeks to overwhelm the viewer as an epiphany. Blurring the lines between aesthetics and theology is pernicious because in reality, no artwork can assert itself as a symbol without also participating in what the Italian philosopher Furio Jesi has called a “return to nothingness.”(xiv) Contrary to common assumptions about symbols and symbolization, symbolic images are always marked by a certain emptiness: they do not receive their meaning from an external referent since these seemingly external meanings have always already been the result of symbols and symbolization in their own turn. A crucifix, to give an evident example, is the condition and not a mere outcome of the belief in Christ’s resurrection and the religious rituals that come with it. Symbols are constitutive of the meanings they supposedly embody.

When artworks proclaim the status of a symbol, they present themselves as self-legitimating, infallible, and unmistakable truths and no longer “call forth a different reality that exceeds them.”(xv) In thus blocking the path towards genuine understanding and the comprehension of a specific situation, an artwork that lays claim to this symbolic “nothingness” forecloses any genuine activity on the part of the viewer: critical assessments or subjective interpretations are above all inhibitions to the supposed powers of such artworks. For this reason, Jesi connects the symbol to silence and, ultimately, to death. A symbolic image manifests itself as the revelation of a truth that can be neither grasped nor contested by human language; as a consequence, its essence remains unspeakable, inspiring us to respond with awe and silence.

In a religious context, this willingness to suspend one’s own critical faculties might result from a legitimate and lived veneration of a force greater than the human. But in the context of an artistic response to political and societal crises, this same mute celebration amounts to a dangerous pawning away of precisely those capacities that make us human beings. Artworks that reclaim a sovereign and exceptional position do not address us as citizens who are alive and conscious in a world that can and ought to be modified. In numbing these critical faculties on the part of spectators, they bring them down to a state of premature lifelessness:

The relationship between symbols and silence cannot be described any better way: the activity of symbolization is projected onto the unknown, symbols rest in themselves, are complete and immanent to their own essence. The statement that they are empty containers amounts to saying that they meet us from the unknown or from death.(xvi)

De Boever’s rejection of an aesthetic exceptionalism and aesthetic theology is relevant to denounce the overblown, almost messianic, aspirations of some of the most celebrated contemporary artists. The past few years the theater director and artist Milo Rau, for instance, has created productions that address, among other events and issues, the racist killings by Anders Breivik, voluntary fighters in Syria, the violence in Congo, the civil wars in ex-Yugoslavia, the war in Iraq, and the collective suicide of a family in Calais. In his so-called Ghent Manifesto, which is modelled after the “Purity Law” of DOGMA95, Rau puts forward ten rules that should enable the artist to “not just portray the world anymore, but change it.”(xvii) For Rau, this includes a ban on literal adaptations of classic texts, mandatory rehearsals outside the theater, and the participation of non-professional actors. However, including a supposedly ‘real’ presence on stage (for instance, a former ISIS fighter in Lam Gods or an entire family in Familie) or, vice versa, bringing one’s productions to a ‘real’ conflict zone (Iraq in Orestes in Mosul) are in no way a guarantee that the wall between the theater space and the outside world is effectively torn down, let alone that this artistic practice would automatically amount to a genuine intervention within that world. While the ‘real’ elements in Rau’s productions do generate a lot of media attention, what it is precisely that they are meant to convey or instigate remains entirely unclear. Instead of triggering genuine critical reflection about the specific situation they are associated with, the ‘real’ people or events that are brought on stage take on the qualities of, precisely, a seemingly self-evident symbol. Like the symbol, this ‘reality’ remains an empty presence, marked by nothingness and incapable of referring to anything external. For the main function of this ‘reality’ on stage is to draw attention to itself, and to thereby make sure that no one would doubt the artist’s genuine commitment. These ‘real’ elements do not bring the complexities of the outside world to the stage but serve primarily as a legitimation of the artist’s position when he speaks out about a conflict he in most cases has had no direct dealings with. In the end, the purpose of this ‘reality’ is to affirm the supposedly inflexible sovereignty of the artist and to cast his power to reflect and influence as an authoritative source of insight.

 

Aesthetic Worldliness

 

De Boever”s alternative for the claims about art’s exceptionality is a defense of its worldliness: “To be close to art … is to be in proximity to the unexceptional. … In the end, the artist at work is just that: at work in the world, doing what they do every day. Their art is just that: the unexceptional, worldly – secular – product of their labor.”(xviii) De Boever thus counters the faux transcendence of exceptional art with an emphasis on the undeniable immanence of artistic products. Chinese philosophy and Eastern religion are important points of reference in this regard. De Boever is inspired by Eastern thought because it rejects both the notion of the genius with extraordinary gifts and the existence of absolute and unchanging truths. This allows him to replace the Schmittian claims about sovereign art with an organicist framework: true change within the world does not result from the unclouded judgment and decisiveness of an exceptional human being but is effectuated by the infinite productivity of nature itself, as “Chinese thought does not know rupture.”(xix) As a consequence, De Boever argues that the only credible response to a moment of deep crisis entails an exploration of the potential of change that resonates within the world as such. On account of the many opportunities and yet unactualized possibilities that lie dormant within any given situation, no superhuman insight or heroic leadership is needed to vouchsafe the hope that the world’s most severe crises can nonetheless be dealt with. What matters most for De Boever is not that artists should rise above the complexities of the world and aim for a sovereign viewpoint, but that they show us how to rediscover these very complexities, and our own inexorable bonds with them, as part of the solution.

Eva Horn’s The Future as Catastrophe: Imagining Disaster in the Modern Age provides us with another good illustration of such reasoning. With issues such as climate change and the harmful impact of the Anthropocene in mind, Horn builds on the observation that there is, by now, a widespread “awareness of an impending crisis” but that this “go[es] hand in hand with a remarkable inability to act, both politically and individually.”(xx) According to Horn, this failure to respond more effectively to, for instance, the dangers of global warming can be explained by an abyss between the present and the future, and the incapacity of the former to take itself seriously as the preparation of the latter. She describes how overly apocalyptic scenarios for the future – the dystopian image of a world without men or of a lifeless planet – risk obfuscating our urgent responsibilities in the present. We are so focused on how shockingly different the world will become that we forget that this other world does not in fact amount to an eventful rupture with the world in its current state: this future disaster is, in truth, nothing else than the immediate and most logical outcome of our present endeavors. As Horn writes:

This novel type of catastrophe is a catastrophe without event. It may have many different forms of ‘outbreak,’ but it essentially (and paradoxically) consists in the sheer perpetuation of current policies, lifestyles, and modes of managing the future. It lacks identifiable agents, a precise moment in time, and a definite location in space, and it is not confined to any particular single scenario. The catastrophe without event is characterized by disparate, diffuse, and ultimately undefinable scenarios, temporalities, localities, and processes.(xxi)

In Horn’s view, the artist plays an important role in bridging this gap between the present and the future. She believes artists can bring to the surface the manifold connections between our behavior today and the impact of that behavior tomorrow. Underlying Horn’s study is a wholly different view of art than the aesthetic exceptionalism denounced by De Boever. The artist is no seer with a judgment so lucid that it illuminates what should be thought and done. Neither is the artwork a vehicle for clear convictions or decisive action. Instead, artist and artwork are believed to explore both the many dangers and the real opportunities that resonate within our inherently multifaceted and ambivalent surroundings. The realm of fiction, that is, does not exist outside of the world and its intricacies: to the contrary, it enables the artist to use this rich reality as the material for the probing of “potential” situations. These “potential” worlds that are set up by artists might not actually exist or ever come about, but, as imaginary extrapolations of real options and opportunities, they do have a tangible link with our present actions and choices. Fictitious as they may be, these potential worlds “illuminate the present” by giving us the means to anticipate the possible effects of what we are currently doing (or, more accurately, not doing). This entails that “we treat the imagined universe of a literary text, image, or film as though it materially existed” and, through this suspension of disbelief, learn about both the potentially harrowing impact of our current lifestyle and our chances of warding it off.(xxii) Having let go of the idea that the artist has insights that other mortals lack, art’s main task is now to create images of “an alien world that alters and shifts our view of the world in which we actually live. Only in such a way can we understand the strange universes of fiction as possibilities for our real environment.”(xxiii)

There is a fundamental flaw to De Boever’s and Horn’s pleas for an immanent aesthetics: they are betting on the number that is most likely to lose the game. According to De Boever and Horn, a return of art to its worldliness will enable us to uncover the unexhausted potential of the universe we collectively inhabit. But because today’s most severe crises threaten the very survival of this shared world, the argument that we should put our trust in its hitherto non-actualized possibilities fails to convince. The climate crisis, for instance, does not so much confront us with the possibility that our life-world will be fundamentally transformed in the near future, as with the possibility that it might, in entire areas, actually be annihilated. In his book The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future , David Wallace-Wells has calculated that “if the next thirty years of industrial activity trace the same arc upward as the last thirty years have, whole regions will become unlivable by any standard we have today as soon as the end of this century.”(xxiv) The crux of today’s climate crisis is not that there is a chance that future generations will inherit a planet that is very different from the one we inhabit, but that we are faced with the option that there will neither be a future generation nor an inhabitable planet to begin with. One could therefore argue that, instead of artworks that lay bare the “possibilities for our real environment,” we need artistic expressions of the tremendous sense of impossibility that marks the current era. A foremost characteristic of today’s world, it seems, is that we are confronted with events and evolutions that can in no way be reconnected to any hope for improvement: certain phenomena that are occurring today are so unsettling that considering them as unexplored opportunities is not only naïve but irresponsible and unbefitting. As a consequence, we do not need artists who set up a potential world that ought to be perceived “as though it materially existed,” but artists who look our actual, material surroundings in the face and disclose how they are gradually falling apart as an inhabitable life-world. Neither sovereign nor worldly, such art may yet provide the “different kind of time frame” for addressing the current crisis that Laing calls for.

 

Unexceptional Weather

 

Jenny Offill”s recent novel Weather expresses this gradual collapse of our life-world. On the surface, the narrative is not all that remarkable: Lizzie Benson is a housewife whose days are mainly taken up by household chores, raising her son, and working at a local library. In addition, she is taking care of a mother with health problems and a brother who is recovering from addiction issues. She is a supportive wife, generous mother, warm daughter, understanding friend, and loyal sister. When she is asked to do assisting work for her former professor, Sylvia Liller, who has gained fame with a podcast about the effects of climate change, Lizzie is confronted with an unending stream of messages, most often revolving around nightmarish predictions.

Though she includes many of these messages in her book, Offill’s references to the climate crisis are most effective when they are oblique. Over the course of the book, the most intimate scenes of family life are subtly interwoven with sudden fears about an uncertain future, survival fantasies, and a sense of mental and emotional paralysis. This results in a remarkable intermingling of what a reviewer has called the “multiple scales of experience (we inhabit) at the same time: from the minutiae of school drop-offs and P.T.A. activism to the frictions of our personal relationships all the way to the geological immensity of our (not so slowly) corroding planet.”(xxv) Indeed, climate change is here no protagonist but a marginal figure whose unceasing presence, like the weather that gives the book its title, can nonetheless deeply affect the smallest events and the most banal activities: “Eli is at the kitchen table, trying all his markers one by one to see which still work. Ben brings him a bowl of water so he can dip them in to test. According to the current trajectory, New York City will begin to experience dramatic, life-altering temperatures by 2047.”(xxvi) Later, the novel observes: “Nowhere feels at home anymore. That’s what my brother says as we walked around the park, his sleeping baby strapped to his chest.”(xxvii) Or: “Then one day I have to run to catch a bus. I am so out of breath when I get there that I know in a flash all my preparations for the apocalypse are doomed. I will die early and ignobly.”(xxviii)

Offill does not present her novel as one continuous narrative but as a sequence of short fragments that do not always clearly match up and leave out crucial bits of information. It is this fragmentary style that conveys how Lizzie’s most intimate experiences are increasingly deprived of their internal coherence. Her life-world is not described as a setting for opportunities and unexplored chances, but as a reality that is growing more unfamiliar and haunting by the day. When approached from this angle, the future is not, as De Boever and Horn would have it, prepared by the countless factors that give content and complexity to the present: it has seemingly already arrived by making the present burst at the seams. Though deeply enmeshed in the main problems of current generations, Offill’s book is no return to art’s worldliness: beyond all else, it is the subtle depiction of an unworldliness that is ripping apart the fabric of our lived interaction with others and the universe.

With this sense of the world’s gradual fragmentation and impossibility in mind, the artists of infinite correction that were introduced at the outset of this essay take on a surprising urgency. It would be an error to interpret the work of Philippe Vandenberg, Robert Walser, or Thelonious Monk as mere experimentation, or as a celebration of unbridled creativity. Their suspension of our ties to the world and their consideration of each work as a new beginning are above all strategies of refusal. These artists do not rejoice in the supposed openness of the future but seek a credible response to a present that has seemingly shed its potential to become other. Artists whose every gesture is, as Vandenberg put it, an “escape from the previous one” are unwilling to project unlimited capacities of change and renewal onto the world as such. With each new line, sentence, or note, they widen the gap between themselves and a universe they no longer deem worthy of our affirmation.

Asked to describe his own work in an interview for the Swiss Radio in May 1990, the German-British novelist and essayist W.G. Sebald put it as follows: “Bei mir ist es, glaube ich, sehr stark ausgeprägt, ich fühle mich im gegenwärtigen Leben eigentlich eher unbehaglich, muss ich sagen. Nicht, dass ich das Gefühl habe, die Vergangenheit sei besser gewesen, aber sie war wenigstens nicht das, was unsere Gegenwart ist.”(xxix) Artists who seek above all a neutralization of the world in its current state might not explicitly refer to social or political issues, but their work does come with an momentous societal force. Perhaps our reaction to today’s emergencies can only come from a process of creation that has made itself inseparable from destruction. The seemingly nihilistic gesture that denounces the untenability of certain events and evolutions in the present may be far more significant than the ongoing search for shared ideals and a common view of the future. For a moment of clear-cut denunciation suffices as the basis of collective action and societal commitment: it is no symptom of despair but a prime token of a society that has not let go of the desire to heal. What is needed most is the sustained contestation of what we clearly do not want, rather than an agreement on what it is we want. Therefore, artworks that adjourn a lived interaction with the world in its present state are not necessarily lacking expressive powers. They come with a succinct capacity to expose that, indeed, the real and the impossible should not any longer be considered mutually exclusive: things, it has now become clear, can both be undeniably true and so depleted of the potential for change that they only deserve to be done away with.

Il me faut tout oublier,” written down or painted in the handwriting of a child, more than sixty times, in a studio in Molenbeek. Vandenberg’s words force language to confront its limits. Still, they are the precise antithesis of a symbol. The notion that there are mysterious truths that are complete in themselves is wholly foreign to Vandenberg. His work is nothing if not a reference to something external: the “tout” that needs forgetting. What dislodges the power of language is in these works not at all an awe-inspiring presence but a very concrete and unbearable reality. This is not to say that Vandenberg’s response to the world outside his studio amounts to a type of silence. This artist has a lot to tell us about the world, albeit above all that it is in urgent need of a fix. Vandenberg’s work originates in the feeling that, though the pains of the world in its present state are unspeakable and exceed the language of words and images, they can nonetheless be addressed. We would therefore be wrong to read into these works the dark premonition of a violent death. Vandenberg’s plea for a radical forgetting did not anticipate the deterioration of his mental condition or the sad moment of his life’s end one year later. It was proof of him having been healed into the most lucid of all observations.

Notes

(i) Umberto Eco, “An Ars Oblivionalis? Forget It,” PMLA 103 (1988): 254–61.
(ii) Roland Barthes, “The Wisdom of Art,” in The Responsibility of Forms: Critical Essays on Music, Art, and Representation (New York: Hill and Wang, 1985), 163-166.
(iii)3Philippe Vandenberg, “Le triomphe de l’accident” (2006), Unpublished, https://philippevandenberg.be/about-the-artist/texts/by-the-artist/le-triomphe-de-laccident/
(iv) Philippe Vandenberg, “On His Way in a Cage is a Man, His Hands Red,” in Œuvre 1995-1999, edited by Florent Bex (Antwerp: MuHKA, 1999), 292-304.
(v) Walter Benjamin, “Robert Walser,” in Selected Writings. Volume 2, 1927-1930, edited by Michael W. Jennings, Howard Eiland, and Gary Smith (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999), 258; Geoff Dyer, But Beautiful (Edinburgh: Canongate Books, 1996), 40.
(vi) Vandenberg, “On His Way.”
(vii) Benjamin, “Robert Walser,” 259; Dyer, But Beautiful,
(viii) Walter Benjamin, “On the Concept of History,” in Selected Writings. Volume 4, 1938-1940, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999), 392.
(ix) Olivia Laing, Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency (New York: Picador, 2020), loc 11.
(x) Ibid., 12.
(xi) Arne De Boever, Against Aesthetic Exceptionalism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019), 5-6.
(xii) Carl Schmitt, Political Theology. Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2005), 36.
(xiii) De Boever, Against Aesthetic Exceptionalism,
(xiv) Furio Jesi, “Symbole et silence” (1966). Italian original in Letterature e mito (Turin: Einaudi, 2002), 17-31. I have translated from the French version.
(xv) Ibid.
(xvi) Ibid.
(xvii) “Ghent Manifest,” ntgent.be, NTGent, n.d. https://www.ntgent.be/en/manifest
(xviii) De Boever, Against Aesthetic Exceptionalism,
(xix) Ibid., 48.
(xx) Eva Horn, The Future as Catastrophe: Imagining Disaster in the Modern Age (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018), 9.
(xxi) Ibid., 9.
(xxii) Ibid., 19.
(xxiii) Ibid., 19.
(xxiv) David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future (London: Penguin Books, 2019), 15.
(xxv) Leslie Jamison, “Jenny Offill’s Weather is Emotional, Planetary, and Very Turbulent,” The New York Times, February 7, 2020.
(xxvi) Jenny Offill, Weather (London: Granta Books, 2020), 106.
(xxvii) Ibid., 141.
(xxviii) Ibid., 187.
(xxix) W.G. Sebald, “Die Natur des Zufalls. Gespräch mit Andreas Isenschmid,” in Auf ungeheuer dünnen Eis. Gespräche 1971 bis 2001 (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 2015), 65.

 

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pijl rechts
Philippe Vandenberg