The end of 2020 was marked by the end-of-the-world zeitgeist. In 2021, that zeitgeist remains - every end-of-the-year retrospective and prediction for the new year seems to be announcing a collective catastrophe, caused by the climatic crisis, the growth of the far right and, more recently, the viral threat. The near future - at the scale of the upcoming decades - has become unpredictable, if not unimaginable, outside sci-fi conventions or messianic eschatologies.
The empirical finitude of humankind is something that most people have come to admit, at least since Darwin. We know that “the world started without man and it shall end without him”, as Lévi-Strauss put it. But when the scales of collective and personal finitudes converge, that cognitive truth suddenly becomes an affective truth which is hard to digest. As Déborah Danowski and Viveiros de Castro mention in their book Há mundo por vir - ensaio sobre os medos e os fins (2017), “one thing is to know in theory that you’re going to die; another is when your doctor breaks the news to you that you have a serious disease, with radiological tests that prove it”. What makes our thinking about catastrophe even more difficult is the hyper objective character of changes. “Nothing on the correct scale”, as Bruno Latour observes (2013) while trying to describe the different traits that define the feeling of disconnection that paralyses us in the face of current events. It’s been revealed that things are changing, they’re changing fast, and not for the sake of life as we know it. And we have no idea what to do about it.
The Anthropocene is the apocalypse in both the etymological and eschatological senses.
MIRAGE - discourses about the end is a series of three installations that problematize the theme END. Influenced by the ideas of thinkers such as Chakrabarty, Anders, Latour, Stengers, Haraway, Ponivelli, and Viveiros de Castro - who highlight the urgent need for a metaphysical reinvention of the concepts of humanity and world brought about by the Anthropocene - I devised three installations that deal with the notions of deceleration, contemplation, mourning, and anthropomorphism, while emphasizing the new mythologies of future subsistence.
Premiere: April 2019, Mala Voadora Porto
HAIKU extended (performance)
Premiere: December 2020, Rivoli-TMP
Installations 2 and 3
A new work by Joana Magalhães