Hauntopia / What If explores ghostly aesthetics


Exhibition, September 8 – October 15, 2017
EARN Conference, September 8 and 9, 2017

Save the date: Exhibition opening, September 7, 2017, 7 pm

The exhibition

In times of violent political upheaval, the exhibition explores the conjuring of specters as a proper method of arts-based research. It welcomes the appearance of ghostly events, signs, images, practices and objects that recount the ferocities of the past while they also hold the possibility of a different future. Building on a glossary of hauntopic devices the exhibited work is looking for traces, negations even, of things, stories and future visions, while in many instances making use of formats that employ ephemeral, opaque or sci-fi elements. Thus the exhibition explores the range of a ghostly aesthetics: In Naomi Rincón-Gallardo's video work, for instance, a set of fantastic species from a forgotten future – located between trashy leftovers and a not-yet-here gender-ambiguity – explore the connections between sexuality and colonialism and create a counter-world within neocolonial settings. A backpack appears as a phantom-object in Zsuzsi Flohr's installation; despite its material absence it became the main protagonist of a Holocaust survival story. Rafal Morusiewicz' film installation conjures ghostly figures out of found footage from Polish (experimental) cinema – figures pushed to the margins during the Polish People's Republic. Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński's performance-based video installation shows the impossibility of visualizing the ways in which the artist is haunted by the leftovers of Paul Schebesta, an Austrian ethnographer, writer and photographer.

Artists: Aline Benecke, Katalin Erdődi, Zsuzsi Flohr, Sílvia das Fadas, Moira Hille, Zosia Holubowska, Hristina Ivanoska, Janine Jembere, Ruth Jenrbekova, Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Rafal Morusiewicz, Lisa Nyberg, Read-in, Naomi Rincón-Gallardo, Masha Godovannaya, Keiko Uenishi


EARN Conference

The concept of haunting has been employed to create a language for the many ways in which an unfinished past makes itself known in the here and now (Avery Gordon) and violent histories, or stories, cause ongoing disruptions, wronging the wrong (Eve Tuck). Haunting often takes place when an official narrative insists that the violence of subjection and injustice is overcome (after liberation from colonialism, after Stonewall, after the end of a war, etc.) or when their oppressiveness is strictly denied. Now ghosts "appear" as agency in-between subjectivities, images and spaces and demand a response, while haunting also works as an exile for our longing, it stimulates an imagination of how things could be otherwise. With these complexities in mind, the conference reflects on the potential of artistic research to not just welcome but conjure the specters of the past to make unresolved social violences demand their due.

The conference is organized by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna as the annual event by the European Artistic Research Network (EARN).

Conference with lectures, artists' presentations and performance.
Keynote lectures by Avery Gordon (UC Santa Barbara) and Eve Tuck (University of Toronto), and researchers from the EARN network

Programme: and

Organized by: The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Concept: Anette Baldauf, Renate Lorenz with the PhD-in-Practice Programme at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna


Research Pavilion Utopia of Access (11 May – 15 October 2017)

The programme of the Research Pavilion consists of three 6-week contemporary art exhibitions and 46 multidisciplinary art events activities called Camino Events. The Research Pavilion: Utopia of Access is created and hosted by Uniarts Helsinki and realized together with the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme and the Swedish Art Universities’ collaboration Konstex in co-operation with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Zurich University of the Arts.  #researchpavilion

Address: Research Pavilion, Sala del Camino, Campo S. Cosmo, Giudecca 621, Venice.
Open from Tue to Sun between 10:00 and 18:00.
Admission is free of charge.



Press Contact Hauntopia/What if:

Claudia Bauer,