“Evil” is a term very present in our contemporary vocabulary. However;
what is evil? How is it categorized, understood, and used as a tool? Surveying recent examples of “evil” which have taken hold in mass culture, ‘Notes on Evil’ examines the mechanisms by which societies construct new enemies in a collective bid to rid themselves of their problems, usually culminating in largely superficial or aestheticized purges. Do societies necessarily need to create evil villains in order to function? And is the villain’s role best understood as that of a court jester, who symbolically appears to mock the sovereign, while actually reinforcing their position of power?
In the fourth title in our Critic’s Essay Series: in Notes on Evil, Berlin-based writer and artist Steven Warwick takes on the ontology of evil as mediated through music, art, and politics. Developing out of Warwick’s own performance practice, his book argues that cultural forms act as sites of libidinal investment in the problem of evil, and searches for a way out of this seemingly unavoidable tendency.
|Please join us Thursday, November 3, at 7 p.m. at the Camden Art Centre to celebrate the London launch of Notes on Evil with a discussion between writer Aurelia Guo and curator Matt Williams. Please register in advance here.
Warwick will also give a talk titled “Gesamtkunstwerk: Dopplereffekt & Staging Evil,” partially pulled from Notes on Evil, at KW’s Pogo Bar on November 4 at 8 p.m. Books will be available for purchase.