Ecce Humanitas - Disasters of War

Ecce Humanitas – Disasters of War | Video of the Week

This is Video of the Week from Wales Arts Review. We’ll be showcasing some of the best art in Wales with a new video shared every week. From music to drama and everything in between, videos will not be limited by medium. Today’s video is ‘Disasters of War’, a short film by Professor Brad Evans. 

With Russia’s vicious attack on Ukraine still unfolding, this week we take a look at Professor Brad Evan’s short film, ‘Disasters of War’, and its examination of the subject of war and violence through the art of Francisco De Goya. 

‘Disasters of War’ is a part of a series of short films made to accompany Evan’s book Ecce ​​Humanitas. Each video provides critical engagement with the history of art and aesthetics. Srećko Horvat described the book as “a breathtaking exploration of violence and monstrosity by one of our leading political philosophers. How to make sense of the void that is, whether we want it or not, always gazing back at us?”

Wales Arts Review interviewed Evans in January of this year. Speaking on the power of art and abstraction, Evans commented

“You have to look at it the way the subconscious has been appropriated. Historically, one of the most important shifts in terms of the liberation of the subconscious was the arrival of abstract expressionism. But in a way in which totalitarian regimes realised very quickly how dangerous it was. Think about the Degenerate Art Exhibition held in Nazi Germany, for instance. They recognised that this kind of expressionism was a true liberation of the imagination. It’s a different culture today where it’s not about trying to say that this kind of liberation is dangerous. What’s marked a big shift, really, is an attempt to colonise the subconscious and the abstract through overly technologized and descriptive logics.” 

You can watch the full ‘Disasters of War’ film below.

You can see more from Professor Brad Evans – including the complete series of videos which accompany his book Ecce Humanitashere.