October 25, 2012 - Museum Morsbroich - Contemporary Ghosts
October 25, 2012

Contemporary Ghosts

Matthias Müller, Phantom, 2001. Still from DVD loop / Betacam SP, color, sound, 4:36 minutes. Courtesy of the artist. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2012.

Contemporary Ghosts
Supernatural Phenomena in Contemporary Art

27 October 2012–6 January 2013

Opening: Friday 26 October, 6pm
Followed by The Long Night of Ghosts (in the framework of the Leverkusen Art Night)

Museum Morsbroich
Gustav-Heinemann-Strasse 80
D-51377 Leverkusen, Germany


With works by Heike Kati Barath, Georg Baselitz, Corinne May Botz, Sue de Beer, Alexander Gehring, Kirsten Geisler, Cosima Hawemann, Susan Hiller, Julia Kissina, Bjørn Melhus, Matthias Müller, Yves Netzhammer, Tony Oursler, Werner Reiterer, Simon Schubert, Katja Stuke, Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, Ronald Versloot, and Melanie Vogel.

It would seem as if ghosts in large numbers are currently abandoning their dark refuges so to take their place in popular culture and become more involved in everyday life than before. A survey published under the name of Psi Report Germany indicates that every second German has had a paranormal experience, and every sixth some experience with a spook or ghost. Today the supernatural is present to an uncanny degree, although often repressed or simply not spoken about.

So what do contemporary ghosts look like? How do they manifest? This exhibition shows that in current culture ghosts are occupying more and more spheres due to the advent and increased use of new technologies. At a time when everyday reality and virtual reality are becoming ever more intertwined, ghosts again have the potential to frighten and fascinate people, as inhabitants of intermediate spaces, as figures that transgress the borderlines between perception and imagination, inside and outside, here and beyond, life and death. The, in this sense, “contemporary ghosts” become agents of a critical standpoint in the face of a multidimensional world.

The artistic positions presented in the exhibition highlight the uncanny independent existence that makes today’s technical media “magic channels” (Marshall McLuhan). Furthermore, artistic interventions scrutinize the exhibition venue, Morsbroich Castle, as to its potential as a “haunted site.” In approaching the limits of what can be experienced, the participating artists avail themselves of art’s unique capacity to visualize the indivisible. What the artists have in common in their engagement with the supernatural is an open-mindedness which each of us knows to some extent from our childhood.

The exhibition is curated Fritz Emslander.

In the framework of a Long Night of Ghosts, in the course of the exhibition opening, which will end at midnight with a torch-light tour, extracts will be read from Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg, the ghost busters from Ghosthunter NRW will introduce their work, and current and old recordings of ghost voices will be presented in the castle’s hunting room.

An exhibition catalogue will be published by Wienand and will include the findings of the Psi Report Germany, an interview with the long-serving caretaker of Schloss Morsbroich, and scholarly essays and texts on all the participating artists (176 pages, 153 colour illustrations).

As of 27 October, continued in the Works on Paper Galleries of Museum Morsbroich:
Thomas & Renée Rapedius
or, How the Look of Things Is Formed
27 October 2012–6 January 2013

Supported by
Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia

Sponsored by

Contemporary Ghosts at Museum Morsbroich
Museum Morsbroich
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