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Everybody's Going to Die

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Bernadette Buckley


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This essay contributes to a larger project - the latter of which attempts to combine and contrast a number of contemporary art exhibitions with a single 'aesthetico-critical' publication. Contributing galleries include the Freud Museum, Leeds City Art Gallery, and Focal Point Gallery. Taken as a whole, the project sets out to explore the proximity between contemporary art practices, everyday life, fiction(ality) and the political debates arising since the attacks on the WTC and London Underground. Specifically however, this essay sets up a semi-fictitious narrative - one that is grounded in the twin footholds of contemporary critical theory and contemporary political debate. Here, 'Art' is deployed in the broadest possible manner i.e. as that which includes the creation, production and distribution of images, live acts, drama, music and literature. Such practices are considered in relation to the generation and maintainance of a kind of global 'cultural paranoia' - the latter of which is variously explored using definitions created by Aeschylus, Freud, Pynchon, John C Hampsey and Kafka. Finally, the essay culminates in the case of Steve Kurtz - an artist who forms part of the Critical Art Ensemble collective. Here the investigation of Kurtz by the American Joint Terrorism Task Force and CIA is dealt with. Questions are posed as to the shift in charges issued at Kurtz, from the initial allegations (of possession of biological agents for use as a weapon) to the more recent charges (of mail fraud, as determined by the American Material Transfer Agreement). Overall, the essay seeks to interrogate the role of Art (both historically and contemporaneously) in the creation and maintenance of a widespread 'state of heightened alert during campaigns of and/or against 'terrorism'. Essay Length 2000 words

Publication metadata

Author(s): Buckley B

Editor(s): Ryan, P., Pajdic, P., Pasolini, A.

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Paranoia

Year: 2006

Publisher: Paranoia Publishing

Place Published: London, UK

Notes: The exhibition is currently being shown in the Freud Museum in London and has been reviewed by The Culture Show, The Evening Standard and the Daily Star, Lebanon. See reviews at edition_id=1&categ_id=4&article_id=78594#

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780955330902