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large-scale accidents

Joseph Turner: The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 1834.

Ben Vautier: Accidents and Catastrophes, 1961.

The plastic beauty of certain photos of catastrophes, of accidents, led me in June 1961 to set my signature to the crushed and tangled bodywork of a car that had hit a tree.

Then, carried away by my creative élan, I signed:

AGADIR: Earthquake (board carrying documentation)

FRÉJUS: The dam which, giving way, caused the death of 300 people.

HIROSHIMA: As I remember is one of the most successful examples of this category of artwork created by the genius of man, and even if artistic intention was lacking, we can only congratulate ourselves on its esthetic reality.

Andy Warhol

129 Die In Jet (Plane Crash), 1962

Tuna Fish Disaster,


Davis, Lee Allyn. Environmental Disasters: a Chronicle of Individual, Industrial, and Governmental Carelessness. New York, NY: Facts on File, 1998.

Ben Vautier: Moi Ben Je Signe, 1963. [English translation by David Mayor: Me Ben I Sign, Surrey (UK): Beau Geste Press, 1975.]

Remko Scha, 2005