Room 401 The Europe of Dystopia. Art After the Second World War

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The Second World War caused a traumatic meltdown in the European conscience and general loss of direction for the dynamics of the avant-garde. Paris had been under Nazi occupation for four years, and was now the centre for radical questioning of the aesthetic principles of Western culture. Its being replaced by New York as global art capital was a sign of the new world order that would hold sway for the rest of the Twentieth Century. It was in this context that artists, writers, philosophers and filmmakers began to explore, in the possibility of rejecting transcendence and in the reclamation of alienation, unrest, materiality and the physicality of the body, a whole new field of operations for art.