On Ghosts and Spirits

– A Workshop on the Supernatural of Past and Present

Ghosts occupy a space in limbo between life and death, past and present, good and evil.
They are at once mediums, illusions, messengers of doom, frightful figures, bringers of fortune, bearers of hope and apparitions. They appear as figures of our imagination and our primal fears, but also of our desires; their timelessness and immateriality allow them to move unnoticed from one place to another. The supernatural is hence always something in-between that represents the suppressed, the absent, the forgotten and the left behind. Belief in the supernatural is a unifying factor among people of different cultures and religions and is a motif in metaphysics, spirituality, anthropology, phenomenonology, psychoanalysis, animism, film, literature and art. Often dismissed as superstition, such beliefs have a centuries-old tradition. Today, in popular culture one encounters the supernatural first and foremost: ghost stories, horror movies and supernatural thrillers, Halloween. In what ways are the various stories and myths about ghosts similar? Where do they originate? How does the supernatural figure in today’s digital and globalized society?

“On Ghosts and Spirits – A Workshop on the Supernatural of Past and Present” at the Frankfurter Kunstverein in cooperation with Katholische Akademie Rabanus Maurus at the Haus am Dom, provides the framework for exploring these and similar questions. An hour-long tour of the current group exhibitions “Roots. Indonesian Contemporary Art” and “Body-Me: The Body in the Age of Digital Technology” establishes the workshop’s context. The tour will be followed by a screening of Ascan Breuer’s short film “Riding My Tiger”. The film gives a part autobiographical, part mystical account of the filmmaker’s search for the spirit of a tiger in Indonesia, thereby telling the story of the search for Breuer’s own roots. Working in small groups and with different approaches from art history, film and literature, participants will have the chance to critically reflect on the workshop’s theme. The results will be presented in a closing discussion during which the symbolic meaning of the supernatural will be worked out.

The two or three-hour workshop will take place at the Frankfurter Kunstverein and is a cooperation with Katholische Akademie Rabanus Maurus at the Haus am Dom.

Please register in advance by calling +49 (0)69 219314-77 or emailing bettin@fkv.de.

The workshop will be offered on an appointment basis and can be booked for the morning or the afternoon.

The workshop fee is 60 € plus regular admission (reduced admission for school students)