But also the vivid neogothic representations of the Last Judgment in Victorian England, which have captured popular imagination.
Then, art put new demons on the map, which were out of the scope of the infernal kingdom, and into the human world (“Dracula” by Bram Stoker, “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, who put forth the terror that “science” could cause).
It is the time when images of the Christian Inferno and of the Second Coming begin to fade and disappear from the popular culture, only to come to the fore in a different way during the 20In the best sellers popular culture the end of the world becomes a favorite.
TV series with the same subject come to great success (let’s remember the ”Twilight Zone”). But now the “Antichrist” uses a variety of methods to cause catastrophe.
“Nuclears” are now passé and we have moved to the domination of the fear of ecological collapse, or the pandemic caused by invincible viruses or even the intervention on the human gene by evil scientists and companies.
The new Antichrist may even use nanotechnology After all, Chernobyl, Hiroshima or Auschwitz are phobic forms imprinted in the popular unconscious because they have truly existed in our historical time and aren’t even creations of the imaginary space-time of literature, religion, legends or personal fears.
We see it in countless versions within human societies and it has the same basic function in all of them: “to form” and “to sustain” the bonds between God and believers.
The genealogy of the Christian Eschatology derives from Ezekiel and Isaiah and reaches the Apocalypse of John, who describes in a symbolic way the final battle between good and evil, the abolition of the world and the resurrection of the dead.
The Apocalypse descriptions of characters that are beyond the ontological limits have given western art the possibility to form the indescribable, by making the transcendental fear tangible.Let’s recall, for instance, the demonic creatures of gothic art or the representations of the Last Judgment and the Inferno by the great renaissance masters, the Last Judgment by Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel, or the irrational beings of Hieronymus Bosch…Before the dawn of the new millennium, scenarios on the end of the world had already begun spreading by the media.Priests and believers appeared spreading the word about the upcoming Apocalypse, while the American cinema would invest on that with the movie “End of Days”.The end, of course, never came but many people kept on bearing the same fear, which didn’t leave contemporary art unaffected…The Fear for the upcoming “end” (related in the western culture to the Apocalypse, the resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment in the Josafat valley) is not a new thing.