The Artist As A Transgressive Witness To History
A talk by Dr Brad Evans.
We live in an age where the arts and humanities are continuously having to fight for their very existence. And yet, given the challenges the world faces, the importance of art has never been more pressing.
Dr Brad Evans, Professor of Political Violence & Aesthetics at the University of Bath, joins the HENI Art Club for a presentation and discussion that considers the importance of art in terms of providing a transgressive witnessing to history. The talk calls upon some of the most influential names from art history, who have used their work as a means to explore and document significant events. Featured artists include Goya and his infamous Disasters of War series, and Jake & Dinos Chapman’s later ‘rectification’ of these works, Francis Bacon, and Mark Rothko.
Ecce Humanitas, a new book by Brad Evans, explores how the very idea of humanity seems to be in crisis and asks important questions about violence in art, history and our collective imagination. How can we respond to inhumane violence that overwhelms our political and philosophical systems? How do we make sense of the violence carried out in the name of humanism? And how can we develop more ethical relations without becoming parasitic on the pain of others? Ecce Humanitas uses original readings of classic and contemporary art to explore these conundrums, and calls on us to liberate our political imagination from the scene of sacrifice.
Evans does an excellent job of keeping a real political and social agenda in view. The book is full of wonderful insights and examples culled from a wide range of thinkers, artists, and writers, from Dante (a major figure in the text) to Gaston Bachelard and from Rodin to Rothko and Basquiat. And there is a powerful political message at the core of the book.
– James R. Martel, Los Angeles Review of Books
Image: Francisco de Goya, The Third of May, 1808, 1814
Organiser: HENI Art Club
Event Type: Live
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