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Make Good Lecture: A Terrible Beauty

7:00 pm

St Barnabas Dalston, London

A lecture on Aesthetics and the Tragic via Nietzsche, Weil and the Book of Job, with philosopher and filmmaker Nathalia Bell.

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Our June Make Good Event will be with filmmaker and philosopher Nathalia Bell.


‘…it is only as an aesthetic phenomenon that existence and the world are eternally justified.’ Friedrich Nietzsche, the prophet of the tragic, enigmatically affirms life in its fragility. But how can the aesthetic be a justification? What about the age-old question of the problem of evil?

Taking inspiration from Simone Weil and Gilles Deleuze, Nathalia Bell takes Nietzsche at his word. Instead of offering solutions to the problem of evil, for these thinkers, the problematic becomes a generative ground for participation, encounter, and embodiment, a call to participate in the dynamic tension of existence through the aesthetic. The book of Job also wrestles with the problem of evil and suffering; from the whirlwind, God’s answer or justification is also seemingly aesthetic: a rhapsodic unfolding of creation in all its terrifying grandeur.

Through her essay film practice, Bell transforms the spaces of culture into a stage for philosophical and theological encounters, a theatre of philosophy, a dance of gravity and light, ultimately allowing room for ambiguity.  Bell wrestles with the absurdities of life by allowing notions of the divine to play. Sitting with Job in awe, straddling the tightrope of existence with fear and trembling, we hear: ‘Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?… Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades… Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope?’

‘There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth’ - Nietzsche


Nathalia Bell is an artist filmmaker and writer who creates poetic-essay films with existential themes revolving around the human condition.

Believing originality derives from origins, she draws from a wide frame of references in history, literature, philosophy and film history. She juxtaposes these references in order to evoke unforseen and liminal aspects of these references, creating dialetical kaleidoscopic visions.

Instagram: nathalia.bell

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