How do we exist?

Mike Watson on Masbedo's Ionesco Suite, from the Jan & Feb 2015 issue

By Mike Watson

Masbedo, Ionesco Suite, 2013. Courtesy the artists and Sammlung Wemhöner, Herford

In Michel Houellebecq’s novel Atomised (1998), the French novelist presents a kind of nihilistic image of the human species as a pathetic scourge that will shortly drive itself to its own extinction due to the advance of genetic cloning. The book’s end features an epitaph to humanity: ‘we think it just to render this last tribute to humanity, a homage which itself will one day disappear, buried beneath the sands of time. It is necessary that this tribute be made,…

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