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The Atrocity Exhibition

Directed by Jonathan Weiss

USA, 2000

HOME, 25 March 2016

The Atrocity Exhibition

There is a lot to take in in this really quite decent adaptation of Ballard’s provocative and challenging novel.

Yet even to attempt to make a film of it is laudable; and at the end of the film you come away with a renewed appreciation of the novelist as poete maudit.

In The Atrocity Exhibition we can see the influence of Sade and Jarry, the kinship with the Vienna Actionists (during the film I thought more than once of the video exhibition My Body Is the Event, which I saw at MUMOK last summer) and a determination to engage with the horrors of the modern world. For Ballard this meant Hiroshima, Napalm and the assassination of President Kennedy, while we have our own myriad atrocities to call upon.

We always live in a state of apocalypse.

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