Disaster Catalog

A CATALOG OF RESPONSES TO THE BURNING OF NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS, 15 APRIL 2019 [IN PROGRESS]

Notre-Dame de Paris  (1900) by Maximillien Luce

Notre-Dame de Paris (1900) by Maximillien Luce

mourning a cultural loss

looking for a reason for the fire

quickly (mis)placing blame on a group of people

criticism of those who seek to blame

memes associating the event to the Disney animated film

finding a form of beauty in devastation

rejecting those who frame devastation aesthetically

cynicism of why Western architecture is held more precious than that of the rest of the world

argument that mourning one thing does not discount the loss of another

association of Paris and Notre-Dame with the bourgeoisie and implied criticism that the mourning of the cathedral is a concern of the wealthy

jokes (e.g. “Notre Dame, how ‘bout Notre Flame”, “Bush did Notre Dame”)

declaring that Notre-Dame is an “argo” which has been built and rebuilt over the centuries

criticism of responses which are more callous or deflective, those who joke and analyze

twitter search of the phrase “Notre Dame burns” and retweeting out-of-context people who tweeted things to the effect of “I hope Notre Dame burns down” prior to its April 15th burning

association of the cathedral with French nationalism

criticism of the concept of churches, in particular the Catholic Church

frustration with metadiscourse

singing canticles

watching those who sing canticles from very far away

mourning the symbolism of collective experience rather than the building itself

projecting symbolism onto the structure and its destruction: of renewal, apocalypse, modernity, eternity, ephemerality, revolution, antiquity, etc.

marveling at the power of natural forces to overtake even our most tended-to histories

archiving and collecting architectural and artistic features of the building

accusation of the hoax of sentimentality, quote by Leonora Carrington that “sentimentality is a form of fatigue”

acceptance of temporality

a woman catalogs responses to a fire

The Cathedrals of France (Auguste Rodin les Cathédrales de France)  (2016) by Anselm Kiefer. © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Georges Poncet

The Cathedrals of France (Auguste Rodin les Cathédrales de France) (2016) by Anselm Kiefer. © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Georges Poncet

KATHERINE BEAMAN

Katherine Beaman