HAUNTOLOGY:

2012 OPC Seminar Exhibition

June 7th – June 28th
Opening Reception: June 7th, 5 – 8 PM


Ghosts

We know they are there but are afraid to admit it, perhaps out of fear of revealing to much about ourselves or too crassly invoking the spirits and breaking our tacit pact with them. But if we lay aside our personal phobias and respect theirs, spirits do come when called. How and what shape they will arrive (or re-arrive) is in some sense what artists have been tasked to contend with since ancient times.

On a very primordial level: Art=Animism.

Increasingly with shifts in technologies we sense, in very practical and material terms, that consciousness is not only locked inside the human skull but somehow beyond it–extended and elusive. The “truth is out there” to borrow a catchphrase from the popular television program The X-Files and we would venture to say: so are our ghosts.

Over the course of the spring term students wrestled with what constitutes a ghost, the ghostly, and hauntings, in the fields of literature, theory, art and history. A question soon arose around Sigmund Freud’s authoritative essay “The Uncanny,” in which Freud makes a distinction between lived experience of the uncanny and artistic representations of it. Namely, that after Allan Kaprow’s blurring of art and life, might it be possible to work with the lived experience of the uncanny as an artistic material? Put otherwise, has an artistic experience of ghosts moved into life and we, the living and contemporary speculators of the aesthetic, joined the land of dead through works of art?

The 2012 OPC Seminar exhibition is a paean marking the end of DOVA Temporary a much beloved site of artistic appearing over the last four years.

With very special thanks to the kind spirits who visited our seminar W.J.T Mitchell, William Pope.L, and Jan Verwoert.