Force Majeure

“It is not unlikely for one to marvel at a natural disaster’s annihilative power. The visual aspect of a natural disaster happening can be too formidable and overwhelming. The occurrence of a disaster can pervade different aspects of life–the economic, the social, the political, the philosophical–rather unhesitatingly. In the wake of a calamity, people act in various ways. Most people freak out and then experience anxiety. In its aftermath, it can cause people to unite and participate in rescue activities and recovery programs. On another note, capitalism and incessant modernization efforts have sped up the process of destruction and have weakened natural defenses and safeguards against such catastrophic events. However, the forces of the physical world refuse to be eclipsed by the hastening alienation of humanity from nature: accordingly, our tethering environmental struggles, most notably the current climate crisis, pose a threat of further depressing costs.

The power of a natural disaster does not only manifest from its inherent force. The complexity, the intensity, and the tension of such events alter not just geographical terrains but the social as well, impacting individual lives and the entire course of history, making these phenomena an indispensable part of social reality. It is this same force and energy of natural disasters that the group exhibition Force Majeure: Beauty from Uncontrolled Acts of Nature captures. Behind the visually stunning manifestations in the displayed works, potential storylines are woven triggering actual memories or imagined futures. Together the works in Force Majeure echo a multitude of likely intents and perspectives: an ode to the beauty of the forces of nature; a requiem for the cataclysmic social implications; a genuflection, an expression of reverence and deference to the strength of the physical world; a mockery of the ineptitude of man’s fragile claim to superiority; and, a memento suggesting all meanings that humans latch onto the web of life are all but succinctly strung up from a temporal narrative in the universe.”

– Richard Coronel