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Fragment 53. Liberian Notes

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Foreign Correspondents

italian version     There seems to have been a slow but steady shift during the last two years from the fear that the economic crisis would lead to widespread war to the very real sensation that the world is now involved in an ongoing conflict fought on so many fronts as to be comparable to the Cold War, if not to the events leading up to the early part of the Second World War, when the reality of global conflict really dawned. Yet although Internet reporting brings us ever closer to the imagery of conflict – in the Ukraine, IS, Syria, Libya and Gaza – what is effectively the twentyfirst-century ‘home front’, the UK, US and most of Europe, has never felt further removed from the realities of war itself.   How might the artworld respond to this? This is a question that inevitably evokes German philosopher Theodor Adorno’s injunction on ‘making art after Auschwitz’, set out in his 1962 essay ‘Commitment’ (and echoing a line from ‘Cultural Criticism and Society’, 1949). What is often overlooked is that later in the same essay Adorno writes that art must continue even in spite of its impossibility,...

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