Facts & Fiction

Images of Catastrophe and Projections into the Future May 19, 2015 – September 13, 2015

Programs and Events May 19 – Sept 13, 2015

Apocalyptic notions have always been a central part of the human imagination and continue to influence our thinking today. As long as there has been art, creative minds have worked to visualize these scenarios. That is why images of violence and global catastrophe have deep roots in our collective memory. The contemporary mass media feed us such imagery on a daily basis. How we imagine catastrophic events is largely defined by how actual disasters are reported – and informed,  moreover, by the theatrical and aesthetic qualities filmmakers give their fictional cataclysms.

We experience catastrophes live and in real time. We are confronted with images that make us eyewitnesses at a distance. Filled with ambivalent feelings, we watch from a safe remove. At the same time, “worst-case scenario” war games lend a fictional air to our future that indirectly affects our present as well. Cataclysmic fictions in the sciences, in literature, in art and on screen give concrete and tangible shape to a latent and unfathomable menace. In that sense, imaginary-disaster productions may also be read as scenes that afford room for reflection and experimentation with visions, utopian and anti-utopian, and widely different projections of possible futures.

The event series FACTS & FICTION inquires into the representation and perception of disasters and dystopias: Why is it that the contemporary arts – from Hollywood to the fine arts and literature – are much more interested in catastrophes than in a vision of happiness? What makes the apocalypse so thrilling? Why are we so fascinated by the aesthetic of cataclysms and natural spectacles? What does an analysis of these images reveal, and what can we offer in reply to them?

Curated by Elisabeth Giers and Matthias Mühling

All filmic works are presented for two weeks each in the Georg-Knorr-Saal. The series is accompanied by an additional evening program on every second Tuesday. Admission to all events is free. Seating is limited; unfortunately, we cannot make reservations. In the context of the exhibition films are presented for two weeks each in the Georg-Knorr-Saal.