Phantasm and Politics #8 – The Art of the Phantasm


In its eighth Edition the discussion series Phantasm and Politics, developed by Helmut Draxler in collaboration with HAU Hebbel am Ufer, will host a two-day conference. Artists, philosophers and scientist will dedicate lectures and responses to the topic “Art of the Phantasm”. The event begins with the idea that no variant of critical art, no matter how reflective, is immune from becoming phantasmatic. This particularly occurs when the real is unilaterally evoked as the horizon of one's own art practice. The question arises as to whether art should be understood as that symbolic interface at which the deep ambivalence of phantasms can appear as fiction and reality, as ideology and utopia, as a scene that simultaneously reveals and shrouds. This cannot be accomplished either by a pure poetics or an internal power of art, nor by a pure external activism. Especially in today's context of festivals, biennials and project cultures, it is increasingly difficult to reveal one's own practices and to make them accessible to critical discussion. Reflexive formats themselves are not immune from becoming ideological. They are hardly in the position any more to reflect on the circumstances and conditions that they work in, and are on the verge of becoming hermetic, much like the autonomous art that they once competed against. Their claim to “truth”, “critique” and “de-ideologization” itself turns out to be an illusion. The programme includes lectures and performative presentations by philosopher Éric Alliez, psychoanalyst Mai Wegner, cultural theorist Diedrich Diederichsen, and visual artist Andrea Fraser. Art historian Isabelle Graw and philosopher Christoph Menke will extend the discussion as respondents.
Conference schedule

Friday 6.6., from 19:00:

Introduction Helmut Draxler

Lecture Mai Wegener

Lecture Andrea Fraser

Response: Isabelle Graw

Moderation: Helmut Draxler

Saturday 7.6., from 19:00:
Introduction Helmut Draxler

Lecture Diedrich Diederichsen

Lecture Éric Alliez

Response: Christoph Menke

Moderation: Helmut Draxler

Gefördert aus Mitteln des Hauptstadtkulturfonds. Präsentiert im Kontext von House on Fire mit Unterstützung des Kulturprogramms der Europäischen Union.

Media partner:


  • Past
    Fri 6.6.2014, 19:00 / HAU1
    Sat 7.6.2014, 19:00 / HAU1


Stresemannstr. 29, 10963 Berlin

There are two marked parking spots in front of the building. Access to the Parkett by means of a separate entrance with lift when necessary. Barrier-free restroom facilities are available. Wheelchair users are kindly requested to register their attendance at least one day before the performance. Thank you for your understanding. If you need help, please contact our Ticketing & Service team at +49 (0)30 259004-27 or send us an email to

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