IT'S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD
The stories of the end of the world are fascinating for they reflect our anxiety of our status quo. But instead of picking up a brave attitude to fight the inconvenient truth, or, as Haraway puts it, to “stay with the trouble”, these stories provide some romantic, escapist fantasies. Or as historian Harari observes, “disorientation causes [people] to think in apocalyptic terms, as if the failure of history to come to its envisioned happy ending can only mean that it is hurtling towards Armageddon. Unable to conduct a reality check, the mind latches on a catastrophic scenarios”.
The series ‘It’s Only the End of the World’ is an inquisition into the paradoxical nature of these fantasies. Mel Chan renders the images of destruction (in this case, volcanic eruption) as tender, dreamy, melancholic, feminine instead of violent, fierce, terrifying. The pastel pink tone and the soften brush strokes invite viewers to linger and relax in this dreamscape. The true nature of doomsday fantasy is revealed. It is but a romantic story. It is comfortable. Maybe too comfortable -- a nihilist account of existential crisis.