A disquieting feature of this annual exhibition - to which the patients themselves were not invited - was the marked preoccupation of the paintings with the theme of world cataclysm, as if these long-incarcerated patients had sensed some seismic upheaval within the minds of their doctors and nurses.
But one question still remains unanswered: who loaded the starting gun?
Easily one of the 20th century's most visionary writers, J. G. Ballard still lives far ahead of his time. Called his "prophetic masterpiece" by many, The Atrocity Exhibition practically lies outside of any literary tradition. Part science fiction, part eerie historical fiction, part pornography, its characters adhere to no rules of linearity or stability. This reissued edition features an introduction by William S. Burroughs, extensive text commentary by Ballard, and four additional stories. Of specific interest are the illustrations by underground cartoonist and professional medical illustrator Phoebe Gloeckner. Her ultrarealistic images of eroticism and destruction add an important dimension to Ballard's text.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:34 -0400)