TJ Clark on *Guernica*

> Perhaps then – though the thought is a grim one – we turn to *Guernica* with a kind of nostalgia. Suffering and horror were once this large. They were dreadful, but they had tragic dimension. The bomb made history. Mola and con Richthofen were monsters in the labyrinth. ‘And everywhere we see them perishing, devouring one another and destroying themselves.’ It may be true, in other words, that we pin our hopes on *Guernica*. We go on hungering for the epic in it, because we recoil from the alernative – violence as the price paid for a broken sociality, violence as leading nowhere, violence as “collateral damage,” violence as spectacle, violence as eternal return. But how could we not recoil? And does not the image *Guernica* presents remain our last best hope? For ‘vulnerability, affiliation and collective’ resistance still seem, to some of us, realities worth fighting for.
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n16/tj-clark/picasso-and-tragedy
P. 36
Vol 39
No 16
2017