Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rafael Cardoso is a writer and art historian, holding a PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art. He is the author of numerous books on the history of Brazilian art and design, among which: Design para um Mundo Complexo (Cosac Naify, 2012); Impresso no Brasil, 1808-1930: Destaques da História Gráfica no Acervo da Biblioteca Nacional (Verso Brasil, 2009); and A Arte Brasileira em 25 Quadros (1790-1930) (Record, 2008). He is also active as an independent curator, including the major exhibitions Do Valongo à Favela: Imaginário e periferia (Museu de Arte do Rio, 2014); Rio de Imagens: Uma Paisagem em Construção (Museu de Arte do Rio, 2013), From the Margin to the Edge: Brazilian Art and Design in the 21st Century (Somerset House, London, 2012) and Eliseu Visconti: A Modernidade Antecipada (Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 2011). His works of fiction have been translated into German, Spanish and Italian; and a new novel, O remanescente, is forthcoming 2016 from Companhia das Letras, in Brazil, and S. Fischer, in Germany.
Articles of Rafael Cardoso
2. Devil may care: Flusser’s Journey Into Exile and Beyond Reason
Vilém Flusser’s second book, A história do diabo (“History of the devil”), was published in Brazil in 1965 but has yet to be translated into more widely current languages. The present paper aims to summarize the major arguments contained in that early work, situating them in the cultural and intellectual context of the time. Taking Flusser’s personal history of exile as its point of departure, the paper suggests that the issues raised by the book are prescient of important changes in Western thinking over the past thirty years – in particular, the paradigm shift from the rational certainties of modernity to a more fluid notion of ‘reality’ in post-modernity. Flusser’s pioneering grasp of material appearances as “structures of virtuality”, elaborated through language, is indeed prophetic of things taken for granted in the digital era. For the student of Flusser, this important early work provides an insight into the profound unity underlying the multiple facets of his thought and writings.