CONF Feb 13, 2017

Disassembled Images (Antwerp, 2-4 Mar 17)

Auditorium CinemaZuid, Waalsekaai 47, 2000 Antwerp, Mar 2–04, 2017
Registration deadline: Feb 19, 2017

Zeynep Kubat

"Disassembled Images": Contemporary Art After Allan Sekula
is a scientific conference organized by the Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography, Art and Visual Culture (KU Leuven - Université catholique de Louvain) and M HKA - Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerpen.

This international conference takes the US artist, theoretician, critic, teacher and poet Allan Sekula's Ship of Fools / The Dockers' Museum (2010-2013) as its point of departure. Focusing on dock workers and seafarers, Sekula's Ship of Fools / The Dockers' Museum paid tribute to all the joined, past efforts of human labor now irretrievably lost in history - a struggle he identified as: "Sisyphean." In doing so, Sekula wished to provide a message of hope: his last work contributes to imagining possible forms of solidarity in a globalized economy confronted evermore with its own limitations. The conference's participants will discuss both Sekula's oeuvre and works by other contemporary artists whose approach dialogues with his seminal legacy.

Each day stand for a thematic section, which forms a separate session that opens up to contemporary art engaging with Sekula's influential method of making artwork as "disassembled plays" - a term he connected to the work of Bertolt Brecht, and which served to indicate that he demands a substantial productive and temporal input from the spectators who are experiencing his works.

Keynote speakers: W.J.T. Mitchell (University of Chicago) and
Marco Poloni (artist, Berlin)

I. Collecting Folly // Thursday 2 March 2017

Afternoon Chair: Nav Haq (M HKA)
Evening Chair: Nicola Setari (LUCA School of Arts)

13h30: Bart De Baere (M HKA) & Hilde Van Gelder (KU Leuven) - Presentation of the general theme of the conference and short introduction

14h00: Carles Guerra (Fundació Antoni Tàpies/Pompeu Fabra University) - Mad Geography: Space Games in Allan Sekula's Photographic Practice

14h30: Edwin Carels (KASK/UGent/M HKA) - Reassembling Vrielynck

15h00: Bart De Baere (M HKA) & Anja Isabel Schneider (M HKA/KU Leuven) - Allan Sekula: the Double Helix of an Activist Stance and of Curating. A Recitative.

16h30: Ronnie Close (The American University, Cairo) - Parallax Error: Paradigms of Photographic Image Censorship in Egypt

17h00: Stefanie Diekmann (Hildesheim University) - The Stuff in the Studio: on Chris Larson's "Land speed record"

18h30: W.J.T. Mitchell (University of Chicago) - Keynote address: Planetary Madness: Allan Sekula's Ship of Fools

19h30: Barbara Baert (KU Leuven) - Response and discussion

II. Maritime Failures and Imaginaries // Friday 3 March 2017

Morning chair: Katarzyna Ruchel-Stockmans (VUB)
Afternoon chair: Liesbeth Decan (LUCA School of Arts)

9h30: Marco Poloni (Artist) - Keynote Lecture Performance: The Sea Rejected Me

10h00: Alexander Streitberger (Université catholique de Louvain) - Response and discussion

11h30: Clara Masnatta (ICI Berlin) - Lois Patiño's "Coast of Death" (2013) and Leviathan (2012) by Véréna Paravel and Lucien Taylor as Amphibious Cinema

12h00: Anthony Abiragi (University of Colorado, Boulder) - Photography in an Age of Asymmetry

14h00: Jeroen Verbeeck (KU Leuven) - Le Docker Noir: Some Notes on Things Left Unsaid in the Work of Allan Sekula

14h30: Jonathan Stafford (Nottingham Trent University) - Representing Capital as Flow: The Ship as Logistical Image and Maritime Catastrophe

15h00: Stephanie Schwartz (University College London) - The Face of Protest

16h30: Sally Stein (UC Irvine) - Some Maritime Reflections from the Notebooks of Allan Sekula

17h00: Kristen Oehlrich (The Clark Art Institute) - Reading Allan Sekula's Library

17h30: Roundtable discussion between Sally Stein (UC Irvine), Kristen Oehlrich (The Clark Art Institute) and Ina Steiner (Allan Sekula Studio), moderated by Hilde Van Gelder (KU Leuven)- Disclosing Allan Sekula's Archive and Library

III. Critical Realism in Dialogue // Saturday 4 March 2017

Chair: Stefanie Diekmann (Hildesheim University)

9h30: Benjamin Young (UC Berkeley/NYU) - "Decolonize This Place": Realism and Humanism in Photography of Israel-Palestine

10h00: Noit Banai (University of Vienna) - Against Populism: Realism between Direct Democracy and Decolonization

11h15: Alexander Streitberger (Université catholique de Louvain) - Victor Burgin. Towards a Psychical Realism

11h45: Steve Edwards (Birkbeck, University of London) & Gail Day (University of Leeds) - Differential Time and Aesthetic Form: Uneven and Combined Capitalism in the Work of Allan Sekula

13h00: Conclusion - Closing of the conference by Hilde Van Gelder (KU Leuven)

This conference was made possible through the generous support of the KU Leuven Research Fund, the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO), FNRS, CERTA UCL, OJO and YouReCa KU Leuven, the Allan Sekula Studio, the Clark Art Institute, and M HKA.

Participation is open to all, but prior registration is mandatory.The registration deadline is 19 February. Due to the limited amount of seats, your registration will be considered complete only upon the reception of a confirmation email sent by the organizers.

For a detailed conference schedule, please visit:

For the registration form, please visit:

CONF: Disassembled Images (Antwerp, 2-4 Mar 17). In:, Feb 13, 2017 (accessed May 17, 2021), <>.