The Most Beautiful Catastrophe is an interdisciplinary exhibition-intervention, which reflects on the future of post-industrial societies, and on the upcoming collapse of the world as we know it. The site-specific exhibition will work as an unofficial event accompanying the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, 15 km from the gallery. Having COP24 in Upper Silesia calls for attention and artistic commentary for at least two reasons. Firstly, the region has a well-deserved reputation of one of the most polluted and eco-unfriendly regions in Europe. The area, exploited for coal mining for centuries, is an example of failure, where deindustrialization did not go as smoothly as neoliberal politicians had forecasted.
Since the economic transformation of 1989, polluted region has been experiencing recession and social problems, due to the economic reforms and privatization. Secondly, organizing UN Climate Conference in Poland is highly ironic in the context of recent barbaric actions of Polish right-wing government. Among others: the legislation which enabled logging of 3 millions of trees, scandalous destruction of Białowieża - the last primeval forest in Europe, and constant populist slogans about going back to the coal-based energy.
The show provokes questions of the position of spectator and participant in the environmental, economic and military catastrophes to come. Placing the visitor between the forces of global capitalism, activism and media spectacle, the show addresses the issues of individual responsibility and climate change within both local, and global contexts of post-industrial region and just energy transition. The Most Beautiful Catastrophe proposes to rethink the future of the planet, and relations between human and the nature, but without fetishizing the latter. The exhibition rejects new-age vision of ecology and endorses the death of the Goddess-Nature. To use Peter Ward’s concept, Mother Earth like Medea, is a murderer of her own children. Thus, to overcome the crisis, and delay the ultimate death of all life on Earth, humanity must act up and go beyond what we experience as nature.