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Catastrophe and its fallout: notes on cataclysms, art and aesthetics, 1755-1945

Dirk De Meyer (UGent)
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Abstract
While ruins are the disquieting vegetation of the mental forest of the eighteenth century, and while destruction is an essential, inherent component of modern art — at least since the late nineteenth century’s definition of the artist as a genius destined to transgression of aesthetic and social rules —, the eerie fascination for terryfing catastrophes is of another category. Focusing on some natural and man-made historic catastrophes that struck major cities, from the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, over the Paris Commune to the air raids of the Second World War, the lecture will discuss the represention of catastrophe. It will show how catastrophes tickled men — artists and philosophers — to change philosophical insights and aesthetic theory, and eventually develop early post-apocalyptic thinking; how it stimulated the development of new art forms and altered their scale of enterprise, how its representation borrowed from older art forms and eventually developed new iconographies.
Keywords
history of urban planning, history of photography, history of architecture, catastrophe, ruin

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Chicago
De Meyer, Dirk. 2011. “Catastrophe and Its Fallout: Notes on Cataclysms, Art and Aesthetics, 1755-1945.” In Tickle Your Catastrophe! : Imagining Catastrophe in Art, Architecture and Philosophy, ed. Frederik Le Roy, Nele Wynants, Dominiek Hoens, and Robrecht Vanderbeeken, 9:13–31. Ghent: Academia Press.
APA
De Meyer, Dirk. (2011). Catastrophe and its fallout: notes on cataclysms, art and aesthetics, 1755-1945. In Frederik Le Roy, N. Wynants, D. Hoens, & R. Vanderbeeken (Eds.), Tickle your catastrophe! : imagining catastrophe in art, architecture and philosophy (Vol. 9, pp. 13–31). Ghent: Academia Press.
Vancouver
1.
De Meyer D. Catastrophe and its fallout: notes on cataclysms, art and aesthetics, 1755-1945. In: Le Roy F, Wynants N, Hoens D, Vanderbeeken R, editors. Tickle your catastrophe! : imagining catastrophe in art, architecture and philosophy. Ghent: Academia Press; 2011. p. 13–31.
MLA
De Meyer, Dirk. “Catastrophe and Its Fallout: Notes on Cataclysms, Art and Aesthetics, 1755-1945.” Tickle Your Catastrophe! : Imagining Catastrophe in Art, Architecture and Philosophy. Ed. Frederik Le Roy et al. Vol. 9. Ghent: Academia Press, 2011. 13–31. Print.
@incollection{1198357,
  abstract     = {While ruins are the disquieting vegetation of the mental forest of the eighteenth century, and while destruction is an essential, inherent component of modern art --- at least since the late nineteenth century{\textquoteright}s definition of the artist as a genius destined to transgression of aesthetic and social rules ---, the eerie fascination for terryfing catastrophes is of another category.
Focusing on some natural and man-made historic catastrophes that struck major cities, from the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, over the Paris Commune to the air raids of the Second World War, the lecture will discuss the represention of catastrophe. It will show how catastrophes tickled men --- artists and philosophers --- to change philosophical insights and aesthetic theory, and eventually develop early post-apocalyptic thinking; how it stimulated the development of new art forms and altered their scale of enterprise, how its representation borrowed from older art forms and eventually developed new iconographies.},
  author       = {De Meyer, Dirk},
  booktitle    = {Tickle your catastrophe! : imagining catastrophe in art, architecture and philosophy},
  editor       = {Le Roy, Frederik and Wynants, Nele and Hoens, Dominiek and Vanderbeeken, Robrecht},
  isbn         = {9789038217222},
  keyword      = {history of urban planning,history of photography,history of architecture,catastrophe,ruin},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {13--31},
  publisher    = {Academia Press},
  series       = {Studies in Performing Arts \& Media},
  title        = {Catastrophe and its fallout: notes on cataclysms, art and aesthetics, 1755-1945},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2011},
}