MARIO CAMPAÑAThe Experience of Evil and Baudelaire's Posterity

Thought, Outside
Fri, 30 Jul 2021

Cycle Thought-Images
Friday 30 Julho 19:00

@ Casa das Artes
Rua Ruben A, 210. Porto
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Free admittance

"In Charles Baudelaire’s work, the Evil appears as a constitutive notion, which harmoniously combines an ethics and an aesthetics of rupture. A review of some attempts in 18th and 19th century European thought to address the secular “problem of evil” — with particular mention to Leibniz, Kant, Mandeville, De Maistre, and Sade — will allow us to distinguish the morphology of Baudelaire’s Evil, highlighting its revolutionary potential, which explains the wide resonance achieved by his work in the 20th century, a time when Evil, in its most atrocious forms, was part of the dominant experience of the West and its regions of influence, which stimulated new theoretical approaches to a problem that, even in its secularized form, never ceases to disturb our conscience. It is in this context that one can see why Baudelaire is constantly being reclaimed by Western critical thinking and by resistance and counterculture movements, as is evident in this year when we celebrate his bicentennial." Mario Campaña

Mario Campaña (1959) left his native Ecuador in 1992. He lives in Spain, having lived in France, the United States, Mexico, and Great Britain. In addition to a vast literary oeuvre, most notably his Poesía reunida 1988-2018, and titles such as Pájaro de nunca volver (poetry, 2017), Aires de Ellicott City (poetry, 2006), En el próximo mundo (poetry, 2011), Avants ils arrivaient en train/Antes bajaban en tren (stories, 2012), and Bajo la línea de flotación (novel, 2015), he has developed an essayistic work in the field of literary research and political philosophy. He is the author of Baudelaire. Juego sin triunfos (biography, 2006), América Latina. Los próximos doscientos años (ed.) (2010), Necesidad de América (2011), Linaje de malditos. De Sade a Leopoldo María Panero (biographical essays, 2014) and Una sociedad de señores. Dominación moral y democracia (2017), which concludes an investigation into democracies begun eight years earlier. Besides these books, he has signed five relevant anthologies of Spanish-American poetry and translated Stéphane Mallarmé. His work has been discussed in universities such as Salamanca, Stony Brook University, and CUNY Graduate Center, in New York. Mario Campaña has lectured in several universities in Europe, the United States and Latin America. He is the founder and director of Guaraguao, a review that, since 1996, has promoted Latin American culture.


“Thought-images” gives title to this cycle, organized by Sismógrafo and curated by Susana Camanho and Emídio Agra, which aims to think images and through images. With these conferences, we seek to take care of what Alexander Kluge calls a “garden of cooperation”, a place that preserves those moments when word and image converge in order to produce something new, a space for discrepancy and cooperation in the face of cacophonies of information, in the face of industrial manipulation and enslavement of feelings. This space for debate and polyphony had a first moment in July 2020, with a conference by Italian philosopher Stefania Fantauzzi on the role of images in Hannah Arendt’s thought, and had a second moment in October, welcoming R.H. Quaytman, João Barrento, Chantal Benjamin and Lais Benjamin Campos, having as central figure Walter Benjamin. In June 2021, we attended a conference by philosopher Laura Llevadot on the political status of images produced during the pandemic. With Mario Campaña’s conference, “The experience of Evil and Baudelaire’s posterity”, we will celebrate Baudelaire’s bicentennial.


  • Casa das Artes 1400 px