DIG Theory: Film Histories: The Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy 

Nummer und TypBFA-BFA-Th.21F.018 / Moduldurchführung
VeranstalterDepartement Fine Arts
LeitungWalead Beshty
Anzahl Teilnehmendemaximal 13
ECTS3 Credits
VoraussetzungenCourse language: English
ZielgruppenBA Fine Arts students

Not open for exchange-students
Lernziele / Kompetenzen
  • A methodology for the analysis of pop cultural artefacts as a means for understanding mass cultural anxieties and instances of global catastrophe
  • The interplay between collective fantasy and the historical record
  • The potential political insights that such mass cultural fantasies produce
InhalteThis module focuses on the history of the post-apocalyptic film genre, and particularly the fantasy of depopulated urban centres, from its literary beginnings through to the present day. While these forms imagine the means of humanity’s destruction in varied forms—the cloud of noxious gas that kills all but three inhabitants of New York City in The World, The Flesh, and The Devil (1959), a nuclear holocaust in films like Panic In Year Zero (1962), viral pandemics in films like Last Man on Earth (1964), Night of the Living Dead (1968), and The Omega Man (1971), or later fantasies like The Quiet Earth (1985), which imagines the effect of a neutron bomb dropped on Auckland, New Zealand. It always comes as a riposte and punishment for modern social hubris, and a bubbling up of repressed knowledge. Furthermore, each reflect the cultural and social turmoil of their day, capturing the anxiety of the time, and exemplifying the widespread cultural fantasy of wiping society away and beginning anew, while recasting class conflict, colonialism, industrialization, militarism and global capitalism, respectively, as allegorical forces of sublime and spectacular dimension. All of which amount to an attempt to represent the unrepresentable traumas that—in one form or another—have already come to pass by projecting them into an imagined future. In this module, we will immerse ourselves in this post-apocalyptic mind set. Readings, historical context and examples of analytical methodology will be presented along-side film screenings, with the current global COVID-19 pandemic as a contemplative backdrop for lectures and in-class discussion.

Walead Beshty (*1976) is an artist and writer working in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions have been presented at Kunst Museum Winterthur, Switzerland; Musée d'art moderne et contemporain, Geneva; Barbican Centre, London; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; and Malmö Konsthall, Sweden / Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid, among many others and was included in the 2015 Venice Biennale exhibition.
Leistungsnachweis / TestatanforderungMandatory attendance (minimum 80%); active participation
TermineTime: 09:15 - 17:00 o'clock

CW 21: 25 / 26 / 27 / 28 May
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Termine (4)