The Most Beautiful Catastrophe is an intervention project that critically reflects on the UN Climate Summit (COP24) taking place in the post-industrial region of Upper Silesia. It presents the voices of artists, activists, and scientists from Central Europe, who connect their interest in the current environmental crisis with an active search for alternative visions of the future, both on a local and global scale.
When considering the role of the viewer and the participant in the upcoming ecological, economic, and social disasters, the project locates the individual between the forces of the global market, great politics, and the media broadcasting the end of the world. It also engages with questions of activism and individual responsibility, and their real and imagined impact on resisting climate change. Today, neoliberalism shifts the responsibility and the burden of a potential ecological collapse on the consumer whilst enhancing consumerism – but of a “conscious,” “green,” and “sustainable” type.
In addition to interventions, protests, and actions to protect the environment, it is necessary to problematize the very concept of nature, as well as to reflect on new inter-species models of coexistence. The Most Beautiful Catastrophe proposes to rethink the future of the planet and the relationship between humans and the environment, while rejecting the new-age vision of ecology and Gaia, the good Mother Earth. In the face of the upcoming catastrophe, apart from lament and active opposition, one needs to look for new solutions, which go beyond the simple dichotomy of pure nature and toxic civilization. But how to overcome the crisis, when there is no food we can eat, clothing we can buy, or energy we can use without participating in the chains of destruction, suffering and exploitation?
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with essays by Marcin Doś and Lukáš Likavčan, and an interview with Ewa Bińczyk.