Doomsday Dreams: The Apocalyptic Imagination in Contemporary Art (häftad)
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Silver Hollow Press
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Doomsday Dreams: The Apocalyptic Imagination in Contemporary Art

Häftad,  Engelska, 2019-10-01
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"Doomsday Dreams" uses international contemporary art as a lens to explore the allure, dangers and positive potential of present day apocalyptic thinking. Apocalypse is a double-edged concept, balanced between hope and despair, simultaneously encouraging the pursuit of justice and a starkly dualistic sense of good and evil. It underlies populist liberation movements and explains the attraction of authoritarian leaders. The artists discussed in "Doomsday Dreams" reflect on the ways that the modern world has been profoundly shaped by millennia-old conceptions of history as a struggle to the death between the forces of good and evil. These artists' draw on apocalyptic symbols grounded in religious conceptions of judgment, retribution, redemption and sin. They employ these ideas to ask: Why has Apocalypse become the fallback position when we are faced with calamity? How does it shape the way we deal with the world? When is Doomsday a useful metaphor and when does it foreclose more hopeful possibilities? These questions have profound implications for contemporary society. Ideas that originated in ancient Zoroastrianism and spread to the three monotheistic religions continue to define our reality today. The apocalyptic cults emerging within radical Islam are one manifestation, as are western obsessions with the "clash of civilizations." So is rhetoric of the Alt-Right that has gained currency since Donald Trump's election. Apocalyptic thinking impacts our debates over climate change, pandemics, immigration, and technology. It also underlies the popular fascination with Zombies, Armageddon and renewed fears of nuclear holocaust. The artists discussed in "Doomsday Dreams" come from diverse religious backgrounds. They employ many different media and exhibit varying degrees of religious belief. Together, they reveal how art can help us understand the complicated ideas and irresolvable contradictions that surround "Doomsday Dreams." This book brings together for the first time cultural studies, theology, world history, politics and philosophy. Heartney explores End Times symbolism, metaphor, irony and allegory in contemporary art and shows how artists are addressing the fearsome challenges that face us in a time of social, political and sectarian upheaval.
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