About the Installation
An animation and visual poem created for CAFKA and supported by the Digital Originals initiative from the Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada and CBC/Radio-Canada.
Words + Pictures by Laura K. Watson, animation by Ken Cooper.
“Spell for the End of the World” uses text and imagery from a new, in-progress series of visual poems by artist Laura Watson about the sensation, and resulting anxiety, of living through an apocalypse.
We live in a period of enormous uncertainty, instability, and upheaval, shaped by forces including the rise of fascism in Western countries, declining security, increasing wealth gaps and climate change. Added to these, is the COVID-19 pandemic. While this work addresses the delusion and egotism of the human tendency to continuously predict the end of the world, it also reconsiders the meaning of the term “apocalypse” and discusses whether or not an apocalyptic mindset can be a rational one. Though these poems don’t attempt to provide any simple answers to these questions, they do position care - for oneself, one’s community, and one’s environment - as a radical response with powerful political potential. These discussions resonate with the theme of CAFKA’s postponed biennial - “Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost” (now scheduled for June 2021), and speak to the current moment of the COVID-19 pandemic.