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Natura Mortifera. A Post-Humanist Perspective

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  • N Visual Arts (General) For Photography
  • See Tr / Vizuális Művészet általában
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy


Sándor Hornyik Natura Mortifera: A Post-Humanist Perspective Anything that causes death is deadly. A shot, a prick, an overdose of medicine. Nature itself can also prove to be deadly, although one should specify first whether it is Nature or human nature in question. Concrete facts, however, kill ambiguities, explain things that are unexplained or inexplicable, dispel the enigma of darkness and resolve tensions. In contrast, the exhibition entitled “Deathly Nature” aims to preserve something of the culture of horror, so this introductory essay also intends to treat the problem of ambiguity in a similar manner: it poses but does not answer questions. What kind of Nature is deathly? Who understands and shows Nature as something that causes death, when and why? – These questions are deliberately left unanswered. The culture of horror, perhaps the most obvious explanatory framework, does not provide a consistent perspective either. For instance, the phrase “deathly nature” means something entirely different within the visual framework of a psycho thriller or a bio horror movie. One need merely consider the differences between the cinematography of Roman Polanski (Repulsion, 1965) and David Cronenberg (Crash, 1996) or between scripts written by Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho, 1960) and Vincenzo Natali (Splice, 2009). In the fine arts, possible connotations of “deathly nature” or “natura mortifera” are even more laden with connotations, as the phrase natura morta conjures up concepts that have their roots in Classical culture: still life, moralization, academism and realism. Moreover, Classical culture and reality also share a somewhat contentious and ambiguous relationship, since outside the world of fine arts, images of perfection (flawless bodies, brawny discus throwers and bloomy peaches) exist solely in the realms of illusions or fancy. Therefore, the art of the Classical period – which in this sense lasted until the emergence of Dadaism

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