It always seems to be the end of something: the end of painting; the end of the novel; the end of music as we know it.
And yet art, in all its various forms of creative endeavour and expression, is often figured as fighting against the very cultural death (or, at the least, entropy) that is so widely predicted. As cuts to funding continue in Britain, the nature of artistic creativity will be forced to adapt but it will endure.
This blog considers narratives of personal/collective end-times in various artworks, or artefacts, and in accounts of artists’ lives or of wider cultural production. Whether it’s emotional crisis, a shifting landscape, or socio-economic pressures, we find again and again signs of the end-times almost as a necessary condition of creativity. Whatever the era or media, arts and artists present themselves, or are presented by others, as waging the war against death.
The scope is wide: from medieval revivalists and doom-mongering decadents, to atom-bomb-fearing popsters and postmodern provocateurs, to anguished millennials and meme-age creatives. So expect articles on narratives past and present, reviews of books and exhibitions, and commentary on apocalyptic rumblings as they arise. Ω