Awake Are Only the Spirits
On Ghosts and Their Media
PHOENIX Halle Dortmund
16 May – 18 October 2009
The exhibition ‘Awake Are Only the Spirits’ – On Ghosts and Their
Media is dedicated to a topic that appears, at first glance, timeless: it involves the presence of the supernatural – the appearance of ghosts and (trans-)communication with ‘the beyond’ facilitated by technical media. The exhibition shows 22 international artistic positions questioning the existence of ghosts, exploring the integration of new media and technologies in spiritualist contexts, investigating the making-visible or making-perceptible of the invisible, and tracing the political implications as well as the aesthetics of such contemporary trans-communication phenomena. Artists include Lucas & Jason Ajemian, Sam Ashley, Kathrin Günter, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Tim Hecker, Susan Hiller, Chris Marker and Scanner.
Scanner presented an audio installation Phantom Signals, Shadows and Sensibility, using recordings of aséance where the spirit of Jane Austen is channeled into the present, answering questions, speaking breathlessly of her life. Interrupting this flow of spiritualism were voices found in the ether, mysteriously left on a mobile phone, that cannot be understood or explained.