On the evening of the 13th of January, visual artist Kasia Fudakowski introduced us to The Palliative Turn, an approach to life and death forged by the Association for the Palliative Turn (APT). Fudakowski is part of APT’s loose collective of ‘palliatively curious’ individuals which includes many artists, designers, a climate scientist, a palliative practitioner, a kinesiologist and a comedian amongst others. Initiated by the visual artist Olav Westphalen, who coined the term Palliative Turn, APT was founded in 2020 in reaction to the pervasive assumption that we humans can fix all our problems and escape our certain fate. More concretely, APT asks; ‘What if our ambition to control and manage not just our own lives but even the planetary climate’s equilibrium is just the latest symptom of what has been wrong all along?’ (Westphalen). By taking its starting point from the practice of palliative care as a model for art, APT asks if an acceptance of our impending end might not in fact be the first step to living better.
Fudakowski’s interest in The Palliative Turn stems from her exploration of both the comic and horrific nature of limits. In this performative event, she engaged the audience with different thought exercises, presented the work of APT associates, and asked the question: How would you like to go?
This event took place at Trafó Gallery in Budapest, accompanying the exhibition Crying until laughing/Sírás nevetésig, curated by 1646 in collaboration with Trafó Gallery.